Native Advertising: Inspiring Examples and Benefits

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With the rise of ad-blockers and the decline of traditional advertising methods, it’s no surprise that marketers are turning to native advertising to reach their audiences. Native advertising is a paid ad that mimics the form and function of the platform it’s displayed on, seamlessly blending in with the user’s experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of native advertising, the types of native ads available, some great native ad, and some inspiring examples ve campaign that showcase the benefits of this marketing technique.

Understanding Native Advertising

A phone with a native ad using native content without paid advertisement

Before we dive into the various types of native advertising, let’s get an understanding of what native ads are and their importance in the marketing world.

Native advertising is a form of paid advertising that appears on a platform and blends in with that platform’s content. ads are meant to look and feel like the content around them, tricking the audience into engaging with an ad without realizing it.

The importance of native advertising lies in the fact that it provides a seamless integration of the ad into the user’s experience. It doesn’t interrupt the user’s journey and disrupt their experience, unlike traditional ads that can be intrusive and annoying.

Native advertising has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more brands turning to this form of advertising to reach their target audience. According to a study by eMarketer, native advertising spending in the US alone is expected to reach $52.75 billion by 2022.

How Native Advertising Differs from Traditional Advertising

Native advertising differs from traditional advertising methods in that it doesn’t look like an ad. Instead, it blends into the organic content of a platform. Traditional advertising methods, like banner ads or pop-ups, are designed to grab a user’s attention and interrupt their experience.

Native ads, on the other hand, are more subtle. They don’t have a direct call to action or shout “buy now.” Instead, they aim to entertain or inform the user, building brand familiarity and trust over time.

Another key difference between native advertising and traditional advertising is the way in which they are perceived by consumers. Traditional ads are often viewed as annoying and intrusive, leading to ad-blocking software becoming increasingly popular.

Native ads, on the other hand, are viewed as more trustworthy and informative, with consumers more likely to engage with them.

Native Advertising Examples of Different Formats

Gadgets with native advertising example with many native ads and native content promoted without ad spend

Native advertising has become a popular form of advertising in recent times. It is a type of advertising that blends in with the content of the platform on which it is placed.

Native advertising is designed to look and feel like natural content, making it less intrusive and more engaging for the audience. There are several types of native advertising, each with its unique features and benefits.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is one of the most prevalent forms of native advertising. Here, brands pay publishers to create content that promotes their product or service. Sponsored content can take the form of a written article, video, or infographic.

The key is that it looks and feels like a piece of editorial content rather than an ad. Sponsored content is an excellent way for brands to reach a new audience and build brand awareness. It is also a great way to establish the brand as a thought leader in the industry.

A perfect example of sponsored content is Infiniti’s “Debate the Drive” campaign, where it partnered with The Verge to create sponsored articles about the future of driving.

The articles were informative and engaging, providing the audience with valuable insights into the future of driving. The campaign was a huge success, generating a lot of buzz around the brand and its products.

In-Feed Ads on Social Media Platforms

In-Feed ads are another popular form of native advertising. Here, ads appear in the user’s news feed like any other piece of content. These ads can link to an outside site or an article or video on the same platform.

In-Feed ads can take on many forms such as images, text, or video. In-Feed ads are a great way for brands to reach a new audience and promote their products or services. They are less intrusive than traditional ads and tend to have higher engagement rates.

A great example of in-feed advertising is the Instagram ad by Airbnb, where they promoted their “experiences” feature to users in their feed. The ad was visually appealing and provided the audience with valuable information about the new feature.

The ad was a huge success, generating a lot of interest in the new feature and driving traffic to the Airbnb website.

Promoted Listings

Promoted listings are native ads that appear in online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. They are listings sponsored by the brand and appear in search results or on the “recommended products” lists.

Promoted listings are a great way for brands to increase their visibility and drive sales. They are highly targeted and can reach a specific audience based on their search history or preferences.

A perfect example of promoted listings would be Fidelity’s sponsored listings on Forbes, where they sponsored posts on retirement and financial planning.

The sponsored posts featured articles were informative and provided the audience with valuable insights into retirement planning. The campaign was a huge success, generating a lot of interest in Fidelity’s retirement planning services.

Branded Content

Branded content is a type of native advertising where the brand creates compelling content that features their product or service model within it. This could be any form of content like a video, podcast, or Instagram post.

Branded content tends to work best when the content appeals to the target audience and offers value. Native advertising examples showcase how brands use sponsored posts and native ads to promote their products in a way that seamlessly integrates with the platform’s environment.

Branded content is an excellent way for brands to build brand awareness and establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry. An excellent example of native advertising is Friskies’ viral video series with BuzzFeed called “Dear Kitten,” where they personified their cat food by advertising it through comical pet-related tales.

The video campaign was a great native advertising example, as it was entertaining, engaging, and provided the audience with valuable information about the product. The campaign’s success was evident, generating a lot of buzz around the brand and its products.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is the practice of leveraging social media influencers’ platforms to receive sponsored promotion of products or services. Brands collaborate with influencers to endorse their products through sponsored posts, native advertisements, and social media ads.

Influencer marketing works well because it feels like a genuine recommendation from someone the followers trust and look up to. This makes it a perfect example of how the, paid post and content can reach the target audience effectively.

Global skincare brand, Unilever, did an excellent job with its influencer marketing campaign for Simple Skincare when it partnered with The Guardian to match its branded content with an influencer network of several renowned individuals.

The influencers provided valuable insights into the skincare industry and promoted Simple Skincare products to their followers. This influencer marketing campaign was a great native advertising campaign and a digital native advertising example of success, generating a lot of interest in Simple Skincare products and driving sales.

Native advertising is a popular form of advertising that integrates sponsored content in a way that matches the platform’s look and feel, avoiding ad fatigue among the audience.

Many publishers use native ads to enhance their editorial content and offer a seamless and engaging experience to their readers. When done right, native advertising campaigns can yield high click-through rates and be a vital part of a brand’s marketing strategy.

Native Video Ads

Native video ads are short video clips that are seamlessly integrated into the content of a website or social media platform. These videos often auto-play without sound, capturing the user’s attention as they scroll through their feed.

When users tap on the video, it expands, providing an engaging and immersive experience. Native video ads have shown remarkable success in capturing viewers’ interest and increasing click-through rates.

Native Ads on Recommended Content Widgets

Recommended content widgets, commonly found at the end of articles or blog posts, display a list of suggested content for users to explore further. Native ads can appear within these widgets, offering relevant and valuable content that aligns with the user’s interests.

These ads drive traffic to the advertiser’s website or landing page, making it an effective way to attract potential customers. It is essential, however, to spot native advertising to maintain transparency and ensure compliance with regulations set by entities like the Federal Trade Commission.

When executed correctly, native advertising example can fit seamlessly into local communities and search results, reaching the target audience effectively.

In the post-innovation age, content marketing plays a significant role in brand building. Brands now focus on creating their own content and sponsor content that aligns with their messaging and values.

This contributor-led model allows for compelling content that resonates with the audience, making them more receptive to sponsored posts and paid ads.

One great example of native advertising is the collaboration between a popular oil company and a renowned environmental agency. The oil company published native advertising on the agency’s website, educating the audience about their intelligent drive system that promotes eco-friendly practices.

The native ad example used engaging storytelling, sound effects, and virtual reality to create an interactive and informative native advertisement experience.

To maximize the effectiveness of native advertising campaigns, brands often use landing pages with clear call-to-action (CTA) to drive conversions. By harnessing artificial intelligence and data from digital advertising, brands can optimize their native ads for better performance.

The Power of Contextual Relevance

One of the advertising examples using native content for a native campaign and to publish native advertising

In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, one strategy has risen to the top for its ability to capture audience attention and drive meaningful results: native advertising.

At the heart of native ads lies the concept of contextual relevance, where ads seamlessly match the form and function of the platform on which they appear. Let’s delve into the power of contextual relevance and how it enhances engagement and conversion rates.

How a Native Ad Match the Form and Function of the Platform

Unlike traditional banner ads that disrupt the user experience, native ads blend in harmoniously with the platform’s content and design. Whether it’s a sponsored article on a news website or an in-feed ad on a social media platform, native ads are carefully crafted to mirror the surrounding content, making them appear more organic and less intrusive.

By doing so, native ads draw the audience’s attention without interrupting their browsing experience.

Leveraging Context for Higher Engagement and Conversion Rates

Contextual relevance is not just about aesthetics; it extends to the message conveyed. Native ads are tailored to resonate with the target audience, considering their interests and preferences.

By aligning with the platform’s content and user behavior, native ads feel like a natural extension of the user experience. This alignment results in higher engagement rates, as users are more likely to interact with ads that offer value within the context of their online activities.

The Importance of Customizing Native Ads to Fit the User Experience

In the age of personalization, generic ads no longer cut it. Users expect relevant and meaningful content that speaks directly to their needs. Native advertising allows brands to create customized ads that cater to the user’s interests and behaviors.

By understanding the context in which the ads will be displayed, marketers can deliver messages that resonate on a deeper level with their audience, leading to increased brand affinity and higher conversion rates.

Inspiring Examples of Native Advertising

A native advertising example of a washington post from google search results and google adwords as a marketing strategy for a sponsored post

Now that we have examined the types of the best native advertising examples of ads let’s look at some remarkable examples of that demonstrate the benefits of using this marketing technique.

BuzzFeed and Friskies

Friskies’ “Dear Kitten” campaign was created in collaboration with BuzzFeed. The campaign was a series of videos where an older cat gave advice about living with a younger feline. The campaign was a viral hit, with millions of views, but it didn’t feel like a conventional ad; it was entertaining and felt more like a pet video rather a viral meme than a commercial.

The New York Times and Netflix

Netflix’s highly successful “Orange is the New Black” series was gearing up for the release of its second season. The streaming giant partnered with The New York Times and released “Women Inmates,” a feature story that covered the life of incarcerated women that the series was inspired by.

The story featured quotes from the show’s creator, Jenji Kohen, along with commentary from the cast. The partnership succeeded in creating buzz around the show’s release with The New York Times’ readership.

Forbes and Fidelity

Fidelity sponsored native articles on Forbes as part of their retirement campaign. Forbes produced a sponsored content piece titled “Retire In A Challenging Market: 5 Strategies From Fidelity Investments,” which provided insight into the investment giant’s retirement strategies.

The campaign was a success and helped to increase user engagement with Fidelity’s investment services.

Instagram and Airbnb

Airbnb used Instagram’s advertising platform to reach potential travelers with their “Experiences” feature. Instagram’s advertising service helped Airbnb to promote a range of curated and personalized travel experiences to users who showed an interest in travel-related content on the social media platform.

Not only did Airbnb see positive engagement rates, but they were also able to tap into an engaged audience already interested in travel without disrupting their browsing experience.

The Guardian and Unilever

Global skincare brand, Unilever, partnered with The Guardian and managed to reach its target audience through branded content. The Guardian’s political and environmental news, aimed towards targeting a high-income crowd aged between 25 and 34 though their app and website. The branded content piece worked well, engaging audiences while still maintaining the brand’s message.

Intelligent Drive System (IDS) by Nissan

Nissan’s native ad campaign for their Intelligent Drive System (IDS) utilized compelling content to showcase the technology behind their autonomous driving features. By publishing sponsored articles that highlighted the benefits and safety aspects of IDS, Nissan effectively conveyed their message to their target audience in a non-intrusive manner.

Benefits of Native Advertising

A lady holding a paper with words for social feed and ad fits that is eye catching with no industrial tech section that is not a viral meme

In the fiercely competitive world of digital marketing, brands are constantly seeking innovative ways to capture the attention of their target audience. One strategy that has gained immense popularity and proven its worth is native advertising.

Native ads seamlessly blend into the user’s online experience, offering a plethora of benefits that traditional advertising struggles to match. Let’s explore the advantages of native advertising and why it’s a game-changer for modern marketers.

Increased User Engagement and Brand Awareness

Native advertising has the power to capture users’ attention without interrupting their browsing experience. By matching the form and function of the platform, native ads feel more organic, leading to higher engagement rates.

When users are intrigued by relevant and compelling native advertisement content promoted here, they are more likely to interact with the ad and explore the brand further. As a result, native advertising boosts brand awareness and creates a lasting impression in the minds of potential customers.

Enhanced User Experience and Reduced Ad Avoidance

Traditional banner ads can often be perceived as intrusive and disruptive, leading to ad avoidance behaviors such as using ad blockers. Native advertising circumvents these issues by seamlessly integrating with the platform’s content.

As a result, users perceive native ads as valuable and relevant information, rather than an annoying interruption. This enhances the overall user experience, fostering positive sentiments towards the brand.

Improved Targeting and Personalization

Native advertising allows marketers to deliver highly targeted content to the right audience at the right time. By understanding the platform’s context and the interests of the target audience, brands can create customized ads that resonate on a personal level.

This level of personalization increases the chances of users responding positively to the ad and taking the desired action, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

Ethics and Native Advertising

A pictures with numerous words as a result of listening habits of a fast company for a marketing strategy of a green river project

As native advertising continues to gain popularity as an effective marketing strategy, it is crucial to address the ethical considerations surrounding this advertising approach. Native advertising blurs the lines between traditional content and promotional material, and this integration raises ethical questions that marketers must carefully navigate.

What are the Ethical Considerations in Native Advertising?


One of the primary ethical concerns in native advertising is transparency. Disclosing that content is sponsored or paid for is essential to ensure that the audience understands the commercial nature of the material they are consuming.


Native ads should never deceive or mislead the audience. The content to publise advertising should accurately represent the brand’s products or services without exaggeration or false claims.

User Experience

Native ads should enhance the user experience rather than disrupt it. If the native ad disrupts the flow of the platform or misleads users into clicking, it may be considered unethical.

Targeting and Data Privacy

Marketers must be ethical in their data collection and targeting practices. Respecting user privacy and obtaining consent for data usage is essential.

Addressing the Above-Mentioned Ethical Considerations

Clear Disclosure

Marketers should prominently label native ads as “Sponsored,” “Paid Content,” or “Advertisement” to ensure transparency.

Honesty and Authenticity

Brands must create authentic and personal stories and truthful content that aligns with their values and delivers genuine value to the audience.

Responsible Targeting

Use data responsibly and ensure that the content is relevant and valuable to the target audience.

Ethics Training

Marketing teams should undergo ethics training to understand the ethical implications of native advertising fully.

Maintaining Credibility and Trust with the Audience


Brands should ensure that their native ads align with their overall brand message and tone of native campaign, fostering a consistent brand image.

Quality Content

High-quality content that provides valuable information to the audience establishes credibility and trust.

Listening to Feedback

Listening to the audience’s feedback and addressing concerns promptly builds trust and shows a commitment to transparency.

Staying Within Legal Boundaries

Ensure that native advertising complies with all relevant laws and regulations, including the guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).


Native advertising provides marketers with a unique opportunity to reach target audiences while avoiding many of the downsides of traditional advertising. The seamless integration of native ads into content helps boost engagement rates while improving brand recognition and loyalty.

Coupled with creative and engaging content, native advertising offers an efficient and effective way to market products and services today, and it’s no wonder why it’s become one of the most significant digital advertising trends to date.