The advertising world has had some major changes through-out recent history. From switching focus of a male audience to a female one in the 80’s to digital ads in the 90’s. Now, the environment is changing again. Banner Ads are quickly becoming obsolete forms of publicity. America is pretty much blind to banners, I for one have NEVER clicked on one. Have you?
Due to the lack of enthusiasm people have for internet ads, someone began to really think about the audience. What are most people looking for when they browse the web? Well, relaxing entertainment! DUH! Americans are basically yelling at us to give them content that will make them laugh, help their lives or just simply distract them. I mean really, who hasn’t spent hours on YouTube? You start out with Taylor Swift and 3 hours later end up watching Crocodiles vs. Lions. The term coined for ads that will also entertain is Native Advertising.
I’ve heard some controversy about native ads. Some people love it and believe its the best thing since sliced bread, while others think its the re-incarnation of Judas Iscariot (pretending to be our friend and then stabbing us in the back). I’m sure it depends on the person creating the ad, whether its going to be great or just awful. Native ads look like content, because that’s what they are supposed to be. Its supposed to be enriching content that makes the consumer aware of the brand. Key words: Enriching Content! Nobody wants to click on something that doesn’t add anything to their lives, that will drain 2 minutes of their existence and even worse…that will blatantly sell you something. But what I have found from my experience, is that I really do not mind hearing about a brand or product in an article, if I got something really good out of it. I recently saw a video from Bank of America that was a guide to repaying student loans, it was quick, informative and it was in cartoon form a.k.a awesome. The fact that I know the video comes from Bank of America does not diminish my enjoyment of the video one bit.
So I think native ads are actually really great ways to have brand awareness, while the viewer is having a blast. I would just tell the companies out there to hire people who know what they are doing. But overall, I like native advertising a lot!