9 Best Native Advertising Examples In 2015-2016

By 2021, native ads are expected to drive 74% of all ad revenue. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a major contributor to this format. Facebook recently announced that 83% of the ads running on its Audience Network are also native. In a study by Sharethrough, the visual engagement of consumers for editorial content and native ads were similar. Still, certain kinds of native ads stand out for their quality. In this article, I will present the 9 best native advertising examples in recent months in order to inspire you.

9 Best Native Advertising Examples in 2015-2016

1. The 30-Day Challenge That Will Transform Your Body

If you’re providing value to the customer in your content, then he’s more likely to stay engaged and interact with your advertisement.

The 30-day challenge by Puma and Refinery 29 is a great example of how to create value-adding content, while integrating commerce. Let’s break down what the native ad got right.

The article starts off with a clear labeling that it’s created by Refinery29 in association with Puma. Not only is easy distinguishing necessary as per FTC regulations, but it helps in building the reader’s trust and expectations.

Image from: refinery29.com

Next, the article establishes credibility by detailing that the 30-day plan is developed by SLT founder and it’s challenging, yet achievable.

Image from: refinery29.com

There are high-quality photographs in the article demonstrating how to perform an exercise. And the photos are followed by ads for buying the apparels on display with label ‘SHOP THIS.’

Image from: refinery29.com

Below the first image, the article textually lists all the products in the photo. As you can see, the brand names are in bold and links to product listings with the price of products is clearly listed.

Image from: refinery29.com

The article details all exercises and even has an attractive infographic (below) listing the exercises you should perform on each of the thirty days.

Image from: refinery29.com

So did the readers like the article?

With 1.6k shares already, that’s a definite YES.

2. Lex Luthor Jr.: Not Just His Father’s LexCorp

This piece is a fictitious interview and a super creative way to promote the movie Batman vs. Superman. The article starts off with clear labeling that it’s a sponsored piece.

Image from: fortune.com

It starts off by calling Alexander Joseph Luthor Jr. a “31-year-old wunderkind”, setting up Lex Luthor’s backstory in real-world terms, including that he has shifted the focus of his company from heavy machinery to tech. The article points out his achievements and drops hints about his nature to demonstrate how he fits into the role in the movie.

Image from: fortune.com

The interview profile of Lex went viral on social media (15k+ shares) and contributed to building anticipation for the movie. Batman Vs. Superman took his tech image to heart and also created a Twitter account for Luthor. And shared the Fortune article as its first tweet.

3. #MakeTechHuman by Nokia and Wired

If you’re a big brand that’s hungry to become relevant again, then this Nokia campaign has some great insights for you.

The debate on how technology like artificial intelligence is impacting human lives is as relevant as ever. Nokia wanted to create awareness about its brand and hence partnered with Wired for a year-long native advertising campaign.

Image from: marketingland.com

Nokia’s Make Tech Human was dormant after being launched in 2014. But with this partnership, Nokia wants its customers to stop seeing it as an outdated mobile phone manufacturer. Rather, it wanted to rekindle its brand image as a leading enabler of the telecom networks.

Technology leader Wired is the perfect platform for Nokia to encourage such discussions in the form of investigative articles, podcasts, video interviews and more. The website was also supported with other events like the Reddit AMAs with Mr. Tim Berners-Lee (founder of World Wide Web).

Image from: theonecentre.com

The campaign is a great attempt to revamp Nokia’s brand image. And get it closer to its new vision – “To expand the human possibilities of the connected world.”

A slew of influencers and consumers are encouraged to discuss the future of technology and its impact on the society. 1.7 million consumers worldwide joined the #maketechhuman debate and 84% of Nokia employees said that the campaign was meaningful to them.

Image from: lippincott.com

4. GE Podcast Theater: The Message

GE have always been at the forefront of leveraging media for spreading awareness about its products. In the 1950s and 1960s, they produced a television anthology series General Electric Theater.

Image from: imdb.com

The Message is considered by many as the modern version of the above series.

You know – one of those branded content pieces when you could get away without actively noting the brand.

The fictional Sci-Fi podcast by GE is right up there.

Its 8 episodes were so engaging that it quickly debuted at #47 on iTunes. Soon it even made to the top 10 in US and 30 other countries. The podcast was also awarded the 2016 Webby Award for the best use of native advertising.

The plot of the podcast revolves around the protagonist Nicky Tomalin trying to decode a 70-year old message from the outer space.

So how does the podcast integrate GE technology?

By molding it into the narrative. And it’s a terrific example of how to leverage brand storytelling.

As per Andy Goldberg, chief creative officer at GE, the aim of the show isn’t to sell. It’s purely a science fiction show, that happens to be produced by a brand. It aims to connect the listeners with what the GE brand is about.

The best part is GE had put in efforts to create an interactive experience for the listeners alongside the podcast. By playing an interactive game, you can even unlock additional content beyond the podcast episodes.

Image from: gethemessage-entry.com

So how did the show perform?

The numbers below clearly mark its success.

Image from: gethemessage-entry.com

A major lesson for brands from the success of GE is not to be afraid of experimenting with fiction, entertainment, and audio content.

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Written by Chintan Zalani

Chintan Zalani's work has been published in major international newspapers, blogs and websites namely Times of India, Aol Huffington Media’s CoolAge.in, Android Authority, AdPushup, ShoutmeLoud and LinkOLogy.