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 autumn on the horizon, we have started to receive a healthy dose of football hype, election previews, and back to school product announcements. Luckily for us, many of these advertisements have been excellent and entertaining examples of branded content. As we continue to move away from summer and closer to the World Series, the presidential election, the holidays, and the Super Bowl, we look forward to the continued influx of great new videos. Now, onto this week’s roundup.
Like always, EA Sports is pulling out all the stops for its annual Madden game. In a series of videos, actor Paul Rudd and Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis discuss their friendship, talk some smack, and humor us all in the process. These videos are not that far from how a typical Madden relationship looks, and that is what makes it even more hilarious. Game on.
So, did you just get a new Verizon iPhone or AT&T Android phone? Well, Virgin Mobile thinks you need need to ditch it and get a new one. Heck, Virgin even gives you some examples of how to ”accidentally” ruin your phone. So next time you trip on a cruise ship and send your phone overboard, don’t be surprised if your phone provider questions your motives…
As we gear up for election season, YouTube will once again play a prominent roll in how candidates interact with their constituents. For the first time ever, YouTube is rolling out a clearinghouse for all political content. As you will see in the video below, YouTube rolls out the “U.S Election Hub” by creating a political analogy centered around the concept of balloons. By showing examples of balloons as both symbols of good (birthday) or bad (drug trafficking), it creates a central theme that is both captivating and eye-opening. To cap off the montage of images, the video leaves you with a shot of balloons falling at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, which helps bring the story full circle and create immediate timeliness.
Lastly, Nike continues to create stellar, creative advertisements. In the clip below, Nike rolls out their new soccer cleats by using marionette-like cinematography. If you are a soccer fan, this one is sure to inspire.
In a series of hilarious videos, Ray Lewis and Paul Rudd describe their BFF relationship. They grew up together. They did a lot of summer stock together and Paul even taught Ray the squirrel, his now-famous celebratory dance.
The many meanings of a balloon represent the many different perspectives offered by media outlets during the political campaigns leading up to election day. YouTube’s Election Hub will be a clearing house for all of it.
There was a time when Google did very little marketing for its products. Those days have changed. Interestingly, Facebook is currently replicating Google’s earlier marketing style with content that is largely educational and very little media buying. With a flurry of new videos recently released by both companies, we thought it would be interesting to compare the online video marketing styles of two of Silicon Valley’s giants – Facebook and its newest serious challenger, Google Plus.
Google Plus has begun a pretty intensive video ad campaign lately, including television and online video as outlets. The first of the new wave of ads touted the new Pages system for businesses:
The next ad highlighted the benefits of searching on Google Plus:
Then the big guns came out, as Google rolled its next ad–”Sharing, but like real life”–on television:
Finally, the latest Google Plus video gathering buzz shows the flexibility of the Circles system by showing how one guy’s status changes over time for the girl he’s sweet on:
Now, let’s compare those ads, which all have a similar look and feel, to the kind of video ads Facebook leans on. First off, it’s important to note that Facebook actually doesn’t have many videos on their YouTube channel–just 51 as of this writing.
The most recent Facebook video, from one week ago, is about using Questions:
Notice the low view count. This video is much more instructional than it is marketing oriented–there’s not even any music or production value.
Their next most recent video is from a month ago. Again, it’s designed to show you how to use a Facebook feature (Messenger for Mobile). However, the production value is much higher with a soundtrack and much more polished voiceover:
Go back a few more weeks and you have the F8 Keynote Introduction, which has half a million views. It’s popularity is mostly due to the fact that SNL’s Andy Sandberg opened the show with his impression of Mark Zuckerberg:
There are clearly two very different approaches at work here. For the most part, Facebook isn’t using video to sell itself to new users. Indeed, at 800 million and climbing, you could make the argument that the service sell itself at this point. Instead, they have focused their efforts more on educational videos for their existing users–an equally valid use of online video even if it’s less likely to “go viral.”
Google Plus, on the other hand, is still in full-on growth mode. Awareness and growing the user base is paramount right now. So while their latest videos showcase features (like Facebook does), they’re pushing much harder to create an appealing brand for the service and to attract new users.
It will be interesting to see where the two companies go from here – Facebook has done very little to market itself in traditional ways, but that also was Google’s story at one time. One thing is for certain, the competition will only get more intense.