Comments on: The disruptive potential of native advertising A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: mleis Mon, 15 Apr 2013 13:38:54 +0000 Great points, but I would say to follow the metaphor you set up all the way through! When you talk about the amount of people at Virgin creating a few articles a week, compare that with making display ads, or to your earlier point, TV spots. The native ads for TV have a relatively short life — unless they’re also put on YouTube to live on as content in the long tail.

I’d also add that what’s special about those 19 people at Virgin, and what makes social/ content marketing different, is that all their time is working dollars against that audience, as opposed to staff as non-working, those people are pushing out content as advertising, seeing how it does, and then iterating/optimizing based on that performance. And their content will continue to engage audiences whenever someone is using natural language to search out and make a decision.

By: PaulCrowe Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:12:43 +0000 Great article and perspective. Thanks Felix. The only place where I must disagree is when you mention that TV ads are truly native; the way you consume a TV ad is the same as the way you consume a TV show.

I choose to watch the shows I watch. I don’t choose to watch the ads. 98% of TV ads are irrelevant to me and the content/story they are trying to tell falls flat. TV ads are some of the most intrusive, annoying, unpleasant, and — in most cases — completely ignored, pieces of advertising available. The fact they actually stop the show I’m enjoying, paying money through my cable subscription, and have dedicated time to view makes them as disruptive as possible. The fact they the are generally irrelevant makes them annoying, the fact they are annoying makes them unpleasant, and the fact I fast forward them or tune them out makes them ignored.

If TV ads were truly native they’d be integrated into the programming in a graceful way and let me enjoy my show. But that’s just my opinion.

And, regarding banners ads I also agree 100% with you. They are the laziest attempt in the history of advertising at finding ways to monetize a new media/medium.

By: terriblehuman Fri, 12 Apr 2013 14:33:24 +0000 Good piece, and as someone who works in advertising, I’m frustrated by the inadequacies of conventional display advertising.

Though there’s a huge difference between native web advertising and print/broadcast advertising – in traditional media, the advertising is part of the natural flow of consuming media. You turn the page, there’s an ad, and you go to the next article. Scene ends, it goes to commercials, the next scene starts.

There’s no such linear flow in web media consumption, unless you’re talking about page takeovers, which people generally seem to dislike. You have to actively click to a sponsored page to consume the native advertising.

I think Gawker Media sites have generally had a good approach to this, with sponsored stories that are clearly marked, and Jon Gruber has his “thank the sponsors” posts on Daring Fireball that are true to his personal brand and writing style.

But like the commenter above me, I wonder if it’s scalable. It has to be compelling. It has to be true to the site/writer’s brand. It has to be timely. It’s a tough ask for sure.

By: richgor Thu, 11 Apr 2013 17:40:23 +0000 The real disruption will come when agencies realize they don’t need 19 people to figure out how to create compelling content for publication on other sites. All they need is one smart person with good reporting skills and news instincts — and who doesn’t think it’s dirty work to create real, interesting content whose ultimate goal is to enhance the value of a brand or product.

By: virurl Thu, 11 Apr 2013 01:05:21 +0000 Good writeup Felix.

There is no question that the content ad units perform better on a click through basis and that the content widgets are less of an eye sore than your blinking, traditional banner ads – which people naturally avoid.

The most difficult part of the native advertising equation will be making sure that the content is high quality and relevant. The ads can’t be a product masquerading as “content”. Rejecting ads for poor quality content mean companies will have to leave money on the table. The user’s time and trust must be respected with these ad units – otherwise, users will begin to avoid these content ad units and will decay click through rates.

My case in point, a recommended sponsored story on this article is a “Chemotherapy Game Changer for Stage 4 Cancer” article from a company called Evita. What does that have to do native advertising? I don’t think drugs, diet pills and products fall into the definition of native advertising. Native advertising should be good high quality stories, videos and stuff that is relevant to the current experience. Native advertising must fit both these conditions: a) blend with the rest of the design b) unobtrusive, high quality relevant content that enhances the current browsing experience by informing or entertaining the user.

I’m not suggesting that showing the correct match of content in a split second between the advertiser and publisher is easy. It is a really difficult challenge and kudos to all who are trying in this space. If native advertising is done right it has the ability to improve the browsing experience for generations to come with less blinking banner ads and more relevant content of things people actually want to read or watch.

Disclosure: I’m Francisco Diaz-Mitoma Jr., the cofounder of, a company in this so called “native advertising” space.

By: zubin Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:08:23 +0000 for others like me who had no idea:

“native advertising … is a paid placement attempting to look like an article, a native ad tends to be more obviously an ad while still providing interesting or useful information.” rtising