Sponsored Content and Native Ads Truly Drive Positive Reactions

By Matter

In a time when we all digest tons of content on a daily basis, the challenge for marketers, advertisers and yes even PRers is to find a way to stand out. Not every client can be launching 800 mph trains that captivate the mind, in reality most companies that enlist PR help know they need the added creative approaches to push through the skimmed-past advertising, banner ads and other clutter that readers and viewers just don’t see any more.

One of the proven tactics that does cut through this myriad of distractions is native advertisements, also referred to as sponsored content. We’ve seen it work for clients in the past, and since we added our in-house creative division, Studio-C, we’ve been able to tackle more of these projects with gusto. There is certainly an ongoing debate about the blurring of advertising and editorial lines, but as in the case of the printed advertorial, most contributed content is labeled as such. In the case of this great Vitamin Water and College Humor partnership, their joint branding leads and closes out the video.

Regardless of this blurring line, it’s difficult to argue with the effectiveness of this content. In essence, native ads are content that we actually choose to see, rather than it being perceived as clutter along the road to our daily news feeds. So, while the content may not reach every single site visitor, those who choose to view it have already qualified themselves as interested parties. A recent Neilson survey (around a specific campaign for Jarritos) found that 46.6% of those exposed to the full ad (mind you they chose to watch it too) ended up with a positive brand impression, while respondents not viewing the content hovered just above 25%. That’s a substantial bump in brand impression after a single exposure to some native content, and a telling stat!


So, while for some the jury is out on sponsored content or native ads, I for one am excited to see what else the creative, advertising and PR teams can come up with next!