Full-Frontal Native Ads
Several weeks back we introduced you to the concept of native advertising. Even in the fast-paced world of online advertising, it hasn’t stopped generating a buzz and it’s gaining traction. But there still seems to be people who are asking, what is it, exactly, and how do I use it?
Native ads are nothing more than fancier, repackaged versions of advertorials we see on late-night TV and magazines. The difference is, whereas advertorials and infomercials might just crop up anywhere anytime (how many times did you have to watch the “shake-weight” spot when you were simply trying to watch the cooking channel at 2am?), native ads make it a point to marry the ad’s content to what you are currently viewing, which platform you’re on, and what your interests might be.
It’s advertising that’s less intrusive because it’s directly related to what you’re viewing. Not only that, native advertising sets itself apart from other forms of advertisement through its emphasis on content. Native ads’ goal lies in transforming mere ads into content, driving up convergence and improving purchase intent.
Recently, there have been a few native ads that struck one as more effective than others. This June, San Francisco hosted its 44th annual Pride week, and to celebrate, our friends got together to watch a reality TV show in which drag queens compete to become “America’s next drag superstar.” During break, Gilead, a biotechnology company that develops HIV/AIDS medication, aired public service announcements that had drag celebrities and men strip in front of the camera and espouse the need for “full-frontal honesty” of their status disclosure. This is a perfect example of native advertising because:
1. It knows its target audience.
2. It blends seamlessly with the content being watched.
(In a previous season, the show caused uproar as one of its contestants came out as HIV positive. The ad echoes the show’s history.)
3. The ad content is entertaining and engaging.
Small to medium businesses looking to utilize native advertising can use these guidelines on social media marketing. Who is your target audience? What are they interested in? Is it Pride, a sports event like the World Cup that recently ended, or the perpetual Ryan Gosling? What kind of connections can you make between these topics and your business? Staying in-tune with what’s popular among your customers will provide perfectly appropriate prologues to your products and services, and that is native advertising in a nutshell.