Top 5 Native Ads and Why They Stand Out

April 21, 2016

Written by Anne McKinnon|CLICKON Media 

Do you recognize any of the following native ads?

These sponsored ads topped our charts as they connected to fans in ways that made them simply irresistible to our team.

1. UPS Infographic: fits in flawlessly with the host site’s content. One challenge of native advertising is that while ads must blend in with the host site’s content, they must also stand out enough to grab a reader’s attention as they scroll through newsfeeds. This infographic sponsored by UPS was posted on Fast Company’s infographic of the day page which guaranteed high levels of traffic. The infographic pulled on UPS brand associations with color. As the ad is viewed, the color scheme immediately drives readers to make an instant connection to UPS.

Sponsored ads by Netflix: two of Netflix’s recent native ads performed particularly well.

2. Orange is the New Black. The NY Times hosted one article that describes how the prison system needs to recognize that female inmates have very different needs and experiences in prison compared to men. This article was topped by a cleverly designed image header that played into the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black. The use of familiar images was very important to this ad.

3. Cocainenomics made an impression on the target audience as well as strengthened brand image. This article was created by the Wall Street Journal and related to the Netflix original series, Narcos. The ad was interactive (possible to use mouse swipes to create lines out of the word cocaine), and described the violent empire of the Medellin Cartel.

Both ads fit with their respective site’s content feed. Instead of boring banners or force-fed interstitials, these ads were entertaining, engaging and sharable. The net result was huge brand lift for Netflix and two of its most successful shows for the media giant.

4.The Starbucks ad by the Onion entertained readers. Millennials reject traditional banner ads because they are intrusive and boring. The most successful native ads are so entertaining that millennials do not mind that the content is sponsored. In this particular case, the ad draws readers with a headliner that makes the article a must read. Starbucks is only mentioned at the end of this piece which also takes away the force-sell aspect of ads that are disregarded on a day to day basis. Even in longer pieces like the two Netflix ads above, it’s important not to overuse a brand name. Entertainment value comes from clever alternatives.

5.The Supercompressor ad that celebrates 45 years since the Moon landing with “10 Reasons Why the Apollo Astronauts Were Certified Badasses,” shows that simplicity is key. This article walks a reader through all the disasters that could have happened in simple terms with hilarious comparisons. Millennials scroll through news for a break. Ads should not be complex. For example, they compare the take-off to being strapped to a bomb, and miscalculations to eternal entrapment in the moon’s orbit or burning to death. Ouch!

When you think back to the bundle of 5 ad images in this post, do any other ads come to mind that made similar impressions? What made these ads stand out?