Earlier this week, BuzzFeed updated its editorial standards to allow its “non-news” editorial staffers to participate in the creation of branded content, encouraging collaborations between its editorial and advertising staff. The company has been a leader in establishing a new business model for digital publishing and breaking down the traditional separation between editorial and advertising is likely to continue. The change makes it possible for brands to sponsor segments of Buzzfeed’s scripted entertainment products, including digital videos and podcasts.
What Brands Need To Do
With the rise of ad-blockers, more and more brands are turning to native advertising via content sponsorships and branded content, which Buzzfeed is a master of. With its digital videos amassing over 1 billion monthly video views, Buzzfeed’s policy change makes its entire content talent pool available for brands to tap into and reach Buzzfeed’s predominantly Millennial and Gen Z audience.
Twitter announced at its Flight developer conference yesterday it has added the capability of serving native video ads in third-party apps to its in-app ad network MoPub Marketplace. Available for all developers and app publishers, this new native ad product features a video and a call-to-action button, similar to those on Twitter itself, in a style that can be customized to blend in with the content feed in third-party apps.
What Brands Need To Do
This new ad product came on the heels of a new ad network for pre-roll video ads that Twitter introduced last week, signaling Twitter’s determination in pushing further into the video ads market and contend with YouTube and Facebook. Compared to other common digital ads, native in-app ads bear no risk of being blocked by ad-blockers, which have seen rapidly increasing adoption this year. For brands looking to reach today’s mobile-first consumers, these two new video ad products from Twitter may prove useful.
Source: Marketing Land
Old Spice has launched a native ad campaign on Imgur, an image-sharing community of 150 million – mostly millennial male – users, which makes it a good fit for the men’s deodorant brand. The brand’s sponsored post utilizes popular memes of the platform, and also engages Imgur users with self-aware language and challenging users to “gif wars,” a popular form of voting contest unique to the platform. The campaign has received very positive responses so far, racking up over 750 comments under its launch post.
What Brands Should Do
With the increasing usage of ad-blockers (for more on this, read our newest Fast Forward feature), more and more brands are turning to native ads to combat the viewability issue. Old Spice worked with Imgur’s in-house creative team to create branded content that fits the platform, and their familiarity with its community shined through. For brands that are considering native ads for content marketing, this example is further proof that tailoring your ad content and format to the platform of choice gives the best chance of success.
Header image taken from Old Spice’s Launch Post on Imgur
Read the original story: AdWeek
Partnering with Bud Light to promote its “Whatever, USA” campaign, Tinder unveiled its first-ever native video ad, which invites users to “swipe right” on Bud Light’s Tinder profile to enter for a chance to win a trip to the next Whatever, USA in an as yet unselected city. Last year, the beer brand held a festival event in Crested Butte, Colorado. Using Tinder for event activation this year, Bud Light looks to connect with the Millennial audience on mobile in new ways.
Head image taken from Tinder’s press video
Read original story on: The Verge
With the surprise hit of Serial, a serialized journalistic inquiry into old real-life murder cases, podcasts are finally entering mainstream spotlight after spending nearly a decade in the overlooked corners of digital media landscape. With Apple introducing a standalone app in iOS 8, listening to podcasts is finally as easy as it should be, aiding its recent rise in popularity.
Given its unique format and distribution model, Podcast is opening up new ways for brands to connect with a highly focused audience through sponsorship and native ads. But a lot of uncertainty remains for those episodic Internet radio shows: is its audience size big enough to validate these branding opportunities? Would Apple want a cut from those profits for being the biggest distribution platform? Should podcasts remain free? We’ll continue to follow the story, so tune in next time…
Update 12/05: In a surprising development, Serial will be broadcast on British radio starting Dec. 7, therefore making it the first ever internationally syndicated podcast series.
After some successes with native content advertising, BuzzFeed is moving into new territory. Earlier this week, the viral content site debuted its first foray into ecommerce-enabled content with a L’Oreal sponsored post that features a click-to-buy link for readers to purchase products that are relevant to the post. Such integration could help BuzzFeed and the sponsors better quantify the impact of branded content, but whether it can successfully drive up digital sales remains to be seen.
Earlier this week, Pinterest launched its new “Pin Picks” collection that aggregates under its official account. Built in conjunction with content partners, the new collection could signal Pinterest’s interest in curating content and native advertising.
At the moment, the Pin Picks section offers a broad variety of topics and categories to delve into, including a special guide for Halloween, for which Pinterest is working with creative partners like eHow, Funny or Die, and YouTube star Michelle Phan to surface pins and provide costume inspiration throughout the month.
Medium is partnering up with auto-maker BMW to bring a collection of 100 sponsored posts to Re:form, a design-focused blog nested under the renowned blogging platform. As Medium’s first attempt at generating revenue since its creation in 2012 by Twitter’s former CEO Evan Williams, this sponsorship also offers a new spin on native advertising. Instead of populating the elegantly designed site with BMW advertorials, for now** the partnership simply manifests as two bold and strategically placed “Presented by BMW” logos on each page, with absolutely no other advertising in sight. And rather than measuring impressions and pageviews, Medium will guarantee BMW a total reading time metric measured in minutes.
Such a novel, minimalist approach allows BMW to attach its brand of excellent German engineering to the great reading experience of the flawlessly designed site in the least intrusive way possible, as it utilizing Medium’s celebrated reputation of smart design and high-caliber contributors to elevate BWM’s brand in the design industry. Any brand could slap their logo on a given website and call it a sponsorship, but only when the feel of the sponsored content is aligned with the brand image would such method work effectively and effortlessly.
Native advertising is currently on the rise, but as customers become more familiarized with and therefore, desensitized to branded content, its magic will inevitably start diminishing. Trying out new approaches like this is certainly one way to prevent such diminishing effect from occurring too soon, especially in a market as innovative and capricious as digital advertising.
** Some branded posts on BMW is reportedly in the works according to AdAge, It’d be interesting to see how they perform compared to other posts in the sponsored collection.
Netflix is looking to change the negative connotation of binge-watching TV by declaring that TV, as a medium, is getting better. Through this impressively produced native ad on Wired, Netflix is, somewhat audaciously, positioning itself as the force that elevated television’s medium status from cultural wasteland. One point it brought up, however, is truthfully valid: the easy access to comprehensive TV catalogues provided by over-the-top service providers like Netflix does help to cultivate a more consumer-led, sophisticated TV market. Therefore, it is disrupting the traditional model that the industry was accustomed to.
This is just one of the two recent high profile cases of “Snowfall” native ad that Netflix has tried its hands on (the other one ran on NY Times). Seeing the attention and acclaim of both ad has received, one can’t help but wonder if such success is truly replicable, if even cost-efficient. Entertainment is a great fit for this new breed of ad because there would already be a narrative for the ad to build on, But would it actually work for other marketing efforts as well?