Native advertising has taken the industry by storm over the last few years with Business Insider estimating that native ads will comprise 74% of ad revenue by the year 2021. Furthermore, the Huffington Post states that in 2018 native advertising spend as a whole will increase to over $59 billion. Since its rise there have been some truly original campaigns that stand out in the native ad world. Here are three examples of successful native ad campaigns in recent years:
The Montreal Gazette partnered with Concordia University for its “Rethinking Montreal” campaign. The aim of the campaign was to change the perception of Concordia as just a fine arts school and promote the sciences and research facilities and the impact it can have on Montreal. Several infographics were released depicting relevant issues to the city accompanied by written content with ways to tackle them. The campaign was a huge success, with page views over 40% over the target, viewers watched 65 hours of video, CTR was 4x higher than on unsponsored ads and social media engagement reached 1.2%. The 10-week campaign was highly effective and raised the University’s visibility by reaching 1,761,000 impressions.
Hotels.com released a relevant campaign to combat auto-play silent ads on Facebook. The ads featured Captain Obvious from previous ads and included subtitles to grab the attention of those who don’t listen to the silent ads. The campaign would entice users to engage with the ad and offered rewards for those who did. In the first 3 weeks, the ad was seen over 5 million times and was shared thousands of times. The campaign also boasted 5 times more consumer engagement than the average Hotels.com ad.
Netflix has a history of successful native ad campaigns, including this one with WSJ to promote the original series, “Narcos.” Netflix does an excellent job of coupling current issues in the world with their own content, other notable campaigns being the feature on women in prison in The New York Times to promote “Orange is the New Black,” and a “House of Cards” promo in The Atlantic. This content provides insight into the multibillion dollar global drug trade, something the average WSJ reader would be interested in learning about, which can then lead to an increase in viewership of Narcos. The post includes various forms of content to interest readers including maps, videos and a quiz. The post was incredibly well received with the Escobar quiz alone being played over 500,000 times.
When creating your own native ads make sure to choose the right venue for your target audience and to create content that promotes more than just your specific product or service. The best campaigns provide valuable information to the reader, so make sure you’re producing intelligent content!