Garbage In… How We'll Blow the Native Advertising Opportunity

15 Oct Garbage In… How We'll Blow the Native Advertising Opportunity

The success of native advertising depends on how good the ads are.

This is hardly a radical thought. Yet, time after time in conversations with clients about native, the discussion veers to “how much will it cost.” “How engaging and sharable it will be,” almost never comes up at all!

Engagement is everything. Without it native ads have no chance of working for the sponsor.


Native ads that don’t pass the smell test won’t engage or get shared.

An ad or a part of an ad that gets shared is gold. When people use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to amplify the advertiser’s message (for free) everybody wins.

Creativity enables engagement. Surprise and delight inspires sharing. Creativity takes time, thought, and effort. It is rarely cheap.

The problem is that all online media are addicted to impressions. , said it well in his recent MediaPost column on why digital advertising is anything but creative:

In their frantic hunt for eyeballs, advertisers have perverted these new technologies to peddle their offerings by interfering with anything we try to do — and publishers have gleefully jumped on the same bandwagon. In the hands of advertisers, HTML5 can create overlays that block access to content, expand ads when we scroll by them, pop up ads when we make the mistake of hovering near certain words, and place annoying banners in our way.

In my opinion, the current state of affairs reflects an utter lack of creativity on the part of advertisers. Successful advertising requires that an ad reach and engage the consumer. Engaging the consumer requires creating good, high-quality content that the consumer will find valuable.

We must not forget it is about serving our audiences first, advertisers second and making a profit third. As an industry we can do much better and certainly must. If we don’t we will blow the best opportunity to date to command a full price for advertising online.

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