Native advertising is defined by some as advertising done to look like the content of the media on which it appears. The ads are tailored to the media. A couple of decades ago if you made your TV ad to look like a newscast and scheduled it to run on the evening news, standards and practices would not approve it. It had gone too native. Lately, I’ve seen some cable stations using program actors to promote products in commercial pods during the show. It’s worth a rewind…until you see it’s an ad. Smart idea actually.
In the web world, native advertising is doing similar things, allowing marketers to appear to offer site content but then pulling the rug out quickly to reveal a product endorsement. It is a way forward, and if does properly effective yet it will make us callous to the media channel.
I’m all about value…and native advertising has the ability to add a little value to the selling message, but it does detract from the media channel’s integrity.
But here’s the thing. Today many regular ads aren’t native to their own selling message. So why be native to a media property. Ads are typically native to humor, to visual extravagance, to performance and story but not the product. Let’s fix that first before we go mucking up other media channels.
Great consumer insights married to emotional and logical selling schemes are the way forward. Let’s not forget we are in the selling business. Peace.