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What Native Advertising is and what it is not

Research & Trends - 9 October 2013

Native Advertising, is a new term recently adopted into digital advertising. It has been given various definitions and meanings.
Native Advertising is a strategy that aims different types of advertising solutions into digital content.

An example is the definition given by Altimeter Group. After interviewing  publishers, social networks, brands, agencies and experts, Altimeter Group compiled the following definition of native advertising:

“Native advertising is a form of converged media that combines paid and owned media into a form of commercial messaging that is fully integrated into, and often unique to, a specific delivery platform”


Unlike traditional advertising that "distracts" the reader from the content, Native Advertising not only wants to attract the user’s attention, but it wants a real engagement against the ever stronger blindness banner. An expert user of internet easily identifies banner, affiliations, popups, ads, sponsored and all other types of online advertising, and eventually becomes "immune".

Through Native Advertising the actual ads become content itself which is perfectly integrated within the website or blog or magazine on line.


The IAB has investigated Native Advertising: marketing experts have realized that the best type of advertising  is customized for both 'user / consumer and for publisher.

Many sites like Buzzfeed give space to native advertising and the first platforms providing this type of service appeared.Using Plavid for example, publishers can earn money in a less intrusive and more efficient way.

On Paid content there are several ways of integrating advertising into part of the contents. The advertorials, the Promoted Tweet and the TrueView on Youtube are typical examples of Native Advertising that have different approaches but guarantee the highest CTR.
But, which is the best example of native advertising? We can safety state that the most suitable examples are the "sponsored stories" on Facebook because they:

  1. Share purpose  with non-ad content. On Facebook, sponsored stories can be shared, liked, commented etc. This encourages the interaction of feedback
  2. Look the same as other contents on the site. Facebook’s sponsored stories appear no different to other post in your feed, save a bit of highlighting for emphasis.
  3. Are included in the daily common usage. On Facebook, these sponsored stories actually come up in your feed, right alongside your normal updates.
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