Our CEO, Dan Greenberg, met with Mashable’s Lauren Drell at South by Southwest (SXSW) last week. The above interview hits on several important points, including how we define native, the importance of branded content, and how Sharethrough fits into the native conversation. Here are a few key quotes:
On defining native, “We have always defined native as taking whatever core form or function of the site is and using that to define the advertising that shows up on the site. On YouTube a native ad format is a promoted video, and on Twitter the native content unit is a promoted Tweet.”
On Sharethrough’s role, “Facebook and Twitter are doing what we call ‘native advertising.’ What Sharethrough is doing is bringing that same type of native ad format and native ad technology to the rest of the internet (more traditional publishers).”
On branded content, “Branded content and native are two sides of the same coin. You have to start with content before you talk about anything native. If you try to push bad advertisements through anything native it totally fails. So you have to have branded content and then you can use native ad formats to scale it beyond just the walled gardens of whatever platform is started on.”
Two diverging media phenomenons are impacting how marketers are advertising online: Branded video content growth and the demise of interruptive media tactics. As we have discussed in length on this blog before, ‘native advertising’ has emerged as a solution to the convergence between quality brand video content, and the changing media ad consumption habits of consumers.
Now, we have some pretty compelling research to back up that claim.
Over the past few months, our research team partnered with the Forbes Insights team to survey 136 marketing executives from leading brands such as Intel, JetBlue, Heineken, Honda, & K-Swiss to assess the market’s appetite for native advertising and branded video content. It turns out that branded content and native advertising have a ton of supporters.
Here are a few of them:
“Consumption has changed, and advertisers will have to continue to follow [consumers]. Quality has become more important now.” — Ron Amram, Senior Media Director, Heineken USA
“If you do something that’s exciting and relevant, you can far expand your media spend in terms of its impact.” —Matt Jarvis, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, 72andSunny
“We’ve gone beyond the thought of interactive digital into creating our own digital content wholesale.” — Marty St. George, SVP, Marketing and Commercial Strategy, JetBlue
In addition, many of the largest online platforms have been first on board to adopt native advertising (including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and WordPress). So while the term ‘native’ ads is still growing among marketing executives, a majority of them value the attributes of ‘native’ video:
With 32% of CMOs saying they have bought or are planning to buy native video advertising in the next 6 months, we invite you to download the full report here.
With the elections rapidly approaching, those of you in potential swing states have been inundated with political advertisements from both candidates and advocacy groups. Luckily, you aren’t the only group that gets to enjoy political content (I know, enjoy is probably a strong word). From Hollywood to Antarctica to Belgium, other groups have joined in on the act. Check out the three “issues” videos below. All are incredibly well crafted, and they really drive home their points. PS – If you love Kevin Bacon or polar bear amputations, then these are the videos for you.
As attacks on women’s reproductive rights have become increasingly brazen and absurd, it’s time to draw the line. Some of Hollywood’s biggest guns ask for your signature on the Bill of Reproductive Rights.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest goes after the big soda companies by jamming the famous Coca-Cola polar bears. In this case, a family of polar bears exposes the fattening consequences of a soda-heavy diet, as the video seeks to counteract the billions of dollars the big soda companies spend on advertising by informing the public of soda’s responsibility for the obesity epidemic.
In a Belgian school, the girls are separated from the boys and told they will be doing a special activity. Initially the girls are excited, but it turns out that the activity is menial labor such as peeling potatoes, and cleaning toilets. Naturally, the girls quickly get upset and ultimately protest. Subsequently, the girls are informed that 75 million girls all over the world are forced to do work just like that simply because they are uneducated girls.
This week we saw numerous examples of how mini-documentaries (either trailers for a longer film, interviews, or creative testimonials) can be powerful content mediums. In addition to the examples highlighted below, ESPN, Sharpie, and Puma have also ran successful mini-documentary campaigns over the past year.
First, Vans released a trailer for their new documentary, “Bones Brigade”, which focuses on Stacy Peralta’s 1980′s skate team. Until the Brigade came on the scene, skateboarding was reserved for outlaws, hoodlums and other shady characters. However, as the Brigade quickly realized, growing into a counter culture symbol has its perks (just ask the Hippies), and many of the team members ended up gaining tremendous financial success (Tony Hawk). The trailer artfully displays this early, gritty underground skate world in an incredibly well-ochestrated mix of interview close ups and vintage skating clips. The emotions of the skaters are raw and powerful.
In addition to Vans, design company Herman Miller also used a mini-doc format to showcase their creative and eccentric take on design. Whether it is world-famous designer Ayse Birsel reflecting on how she uses a deconstructive thought process to come up with new ideas or Irving Harper telling stories about his incredible paper sculptures, the mini-docs below capture the artists’ imagination and display it throughout the content. Instead of constant product placement or overt branding, the company provides us with story lines that are compelling, and for that, we salute you.
Until next week, check out Sharethrough.TV for the latest mini documentaries and other forms of branded content. If you see anything we missed, feel free to shoot us a message or comment below.
This was another great week for branded content. As is usually the case, the best content was not confined to a certain creative structure. In fact, we saw everything from hilarious repurposed television spots to longer-form documentaries. What did they have in common? Well, they were all extremely entertaining to watch, and they are now driving online conversations.
For Nintendo, Penelope Cruz and her sister, Monica, starred in the debut advertisement for Super Mario Brothers 2. The Cruz sisters did a great job, but not just because they are easy on the eyes. The appeal of video stemmed from the ability of the Cruz’s to look as though they were truly enjoying the game just as any of us non-celebrities would. That real life sneak peak was refreshing and fun.
Despite the NBA offseason, Foot Locker found a way to keep us engaged with some of the leagues funniest personalities. James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder showed us that, despite losing in the NBA Finals, he remains in good spirits. For a television ad, this really hits it out of the park. Short and humorous, it definitely is an ad that you want to share with friends.
While the television ads highlighted above were great, the next two used a little more creativity to get their message accross. To highlight the precision and consistency of Volvo’s 18-wheelers, the company hired Faith Dickey, a world-record holding tight rope walker, to walk across a line between two Volvo trucks as they speed forward towards a set of tunnels. The catch: If she doesn’t make it across before the trucks enter a tunnel, the line will snap and so will she. This video was intense and memorable.
Lastly, Puma rolled out a research based documentary that wanted to answer an age old question: Do sports fans care more about their team or their wife? The brilliance of this campaign, outside of the compelling topic area, was that the study was legitimate scientific research and the results were published online. This not only made the research more appealing, but the online availability of the study allowed viewers to engage with the content even after they finished the video. While the results showed that soccer fans (grudgingly) prefer their wife to their team, the video showcased just how difficult that decision actually was.
Here’s a great example of a TV spot that’s also very much content people want to watch. This hilarious spot features Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Both are all-stars, although Harden might be the more famous simply because of his amazing beard, which, like his gear, he likes to always keep fresh.