Native Advertising Success: Five Case Studies


While native advertising is a growing field, some marketers still aren't sure what it is. A recent report shows 49 percent of marketers don't know native advertising is, and another 38 percent can't pick a native ad out of a lineup.

Native advertising is content that looks completely natural in a publication, but is actually paid for by an advertiser intending to promote a brand or product.

To help brands understand what native advertising is, it's easier to look at examples. Here are five successful native advertising campaigns:

  1. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed, known for its interesting and witty content, mixes native advertising right in with its articles. Most of the content on the site is "listicles," or top 10 lists that readers find intriguing, such as "39 Pictures That Are So Epically '90s They'll Make You Fall Into a Nostalgia Coma."

Native ads follow suit with titles like "14 Spring Cleaning Tips to Help the Laziest Person Declutter Their Life." LetGo, an app that helps people sell their unwanted possessions, sponsors this article.

  1. Instagram 

Instagram ads look just like other posts that your friends share, except the word "sponsored" sits in the top right corner. Take a look at this native ad from Tieks, a company that sells unique ballet flats, which are pictured in the ad:

  1. "The Onion"

The satirical online newspaper, "The Onion," also has great examples of native advertising that fits seamlessly into its overall content. In some cases, writers on staff craft the ads to make sure the content is the perfect fit.

In line with the rest of the content on its website, a sponsored article for Dewar's, a blended scotch whiskey, is, "Dad Frees Up Entire Day to Spend On Quality Father-Grill Bonding Time."

At the end of the comical article is a one-line ad that encourages readers to buy Dewar's for the man who spends countless hours behind the barbeque.

  1. Snapchat

Snapchat offers a branded lens as its native advertising filter, which allows companies to create picture filters that can be added to any selfie. Filters are common in Snapchat, so creating branded filters coincides with the platform's usual features.

Here's a look at a branded filter for "The Peanuts Movie:"

  1. "Forbes"

"Forbes" offers native advertising through its online publication by strategically placing banner ads next to relevant content. For instance, an ad for Morgan Stanley sits next to an article about retirement investing.

The publication works to provide relevant ads that build trust with its audience.

Can a native advertising campaign work for your company? Get started with help from a qualified digital marketing agency.