“Can Native Ads Scale?”—Answer: YES!

Today Digiday asked a question that most of the advertising industry assumes they already know the answer to: Can ‘Native’ Ads Scale?

At odds with what most advertisers would say, we at AdAdapted enthusiastically say “Yes”, especially in mobile.  However, there are a lot of reasons for advertisers to be asking the question. If native advertising is all about sponsoring custom content, how can an advertiser review, approve and manage brand’s assets across hundreds of online or mobile placements? 

“Native ads can scale if marketers think of themselves as storytellers and if publishing partners can earn their trust with quality execution,” said Jay Lauf, group publisher of The Atlantic Media Company. “It centers around recognition of the assets you have to tell your stories as well as flexibility in how they are used on the marketing side and trust on the publishing side. Most brands on either side of the equation are not there yet, but I think we’re heading in that direction.” —Digiday, Can “Native” Ads Scale?

Jay’s right. It will be key for brands and their agents to offer the assets needed to tell the story, approve their use and present general guidelines. That’s the easy part. The hard part, but also necessary, will be for brands to be flexible enough to allow publishers to interweave their assets into the experience presented by the publishers.

The advertiser mindset should stop being “We’re paying for this space on this site and need to make sure that our assets stand out and are presented just like they are everywhere else”. That’s missing the point and is exactly the reason consumers don’t flock to brand sites. Instead, advertisers should recognize and leverage the relationship between the consumer and the publisher.

You see, all those consumers that are on any given site, or app, are there because they like what the publisher is doing. In the native advertising model, the publisher basically invites the advertiser into the club house and present them as part of group for a day. The publisher will give the brand all the inside jokes, provide the right clothes to wear and introduce them around. Now, why wouldn’t you want that treatment? Why would a brand want to insist they stick to their same old routine when an offer to be a “cool kid” is on the table? 

It’s hard to do, but brands should see that the people are there to see the publisher, not the brand. Try to fit in. 

 

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