Native Advertising: 5 Best Examples in Recent Times

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Aug 12, 2021

What’s great about native advertising is that it’s non-intrusive. It follows the flow of content and integrates the advertisement into it. This results in a seamless experience of transitioning from content to advertisement. This is how native advertising becomes organic and it can be seen from the best native advertising examples.

The goal of native advertising is to be so organic, people won’t even notice that it’s an ad. Be that as it may, it’s still important to let people know that it’s an ad. It is the responsibility of the publisher to let the consumers know what they’re getting into.

Here are some of the different ways to let people know that these are ads:

  • “Sponsored by____”
  • “Recommended” or “Suggested”
  • Small X icon in the top right

To be able to be successful in native ads, the trick lies in providing users with a continuous experience. It’s giving them content that won’t make them abandon what they’re currently immersed in. 

Statistics showing the effectivity of native advertising.
The statistics above show the effectiveness of native advertising.

Statistics show that 53% of users look at native ads more than banner ads. It also shows 32% of the respondents of the study report that native ads are more shareable. This is compared to the 19% for display ads.

In this article, we’ll be exploring excellent native advertising examples that do exactly this.

Let’s dive into it!

1. Oreo and Game of Thrones

A cutscene of the opening sequence of Game of Thrones made out of entirely Oreos.
Oreo created the opening sequence of Game of Thrones.

In 2019, the hit series Game of Thrones had its final season, capping at season 8. Everyone was hyped with the announcement and Oreo wanted in on all the fun. 

Oreo released a limited edition product that featured the series. The cookies had the insignia of the houses in Game of Thrones. Aside from that, Oreo even recreated the entire iconic opening sequence of the series!

They made the whole sequence with actual Oreos! They used the filling as the base and used the classic Oreo cookie we all know and love to build the structures. They used 2,750 cookies to recreate the entire scene. As a result, the video garnered more than a million views on YouTube.

This is one of the most beautiful native advertising examples because it was cinematic, creative, and engaging. The cookies and the video got fans excited for both the series and the product. It was also more about connecting with the fans of the series rather than focusing on the product itself.

This ad was so effective because as much as people knew it was an ad for Oreos, they didn’t mind! It was because even though Oreos was in the picture, it didn’t really take away the focus from the series. It was more of joining the experience rather than diverting attention away from it.

2. Apartment Therapy and Home Depot

Screenshot of the Spring Reboot project of Home Depot and Apartment Therapy.
This is the interactive collaboration of Home Depot and Apartment Therapy.

Apartment Therapy is a blog that specializes in home and living. There are tons of how-to articles, tutorials, and tips and tricks on the website. It aims to provide people the right information to create a better home for themselves.

They have partnered up with Home Depot on this one. They created an adorable little house with different rooms. In an instant, you’d be able to identify what each room is for. It looks like a dollhouse so it’s not much to decipher. 

What’s interesting about it though is there’s a play button for each room that you can click on. It will then show you a quick 20-second video of the rooms being organized. It’s a fun little way of showing the viewers how to revamp a room. Then there are other buttons that will transport you to a page where you can browse for the featured products.

This is one of the most visually appealing and interactive native advertising examples we have on this list. It’s a great example because it immerses you in the experience of upgrading your home, you don’t even notice that it’s an ad. It uses the power of interaction to incorporate the ads for the products featured in the room.

3. Taco Bell and Snapchat

In early 2020, a new wave of filters took over the internet. These filters let you see which character you are from Disney all the way to which emoji you are. It was deemed as the new personality quiz on the internet. It was such nonsense and it didn’t make sense but users all over the world loved it!

Taco Bell saw this as an opportunity and grabbed it. They partnered up with Snapchat and created their own filter. The question that popped on top of people’s heads is “Which Taco Bell item am I?” 

Screenshot of a user using the Taco Bell filter in Snapchat.
Users see Taco Bell items above their head and try their best to identify them.

Users went crazy over the silly personality quiz. They shared it over and over which resulted in more users joining in on the hype. The items didn’t have names so it was easy to see which users are actual Taco Bell fans.

Along with this idea, Taco Bell also launched another Snapchat filter called “Cinco de Mayo”. There was a massive response from the users when they took them to social media platforms. This filter was used over 224 million times. One report states that the Cinco de Mayo filter campaign was the most successful in the history of Snapchat.

This is one of the most innovative native advertising examples on this list. Not a lot of companies have integrated AR into their advertising campaigns but Taco Bell was able to do it. They were able to make content viral without taking away the experience of Snapchat. It wasn’t about the product, it was about the experience that made people share it.

4. Netflix and Spotify

Image of the native ad of Stranger Things by Netflix and Spotify.
Netflix and Spotify collaborate to bring users the music of Stranger Things.

When the second season of Stranger Things came out, Netflix and Spotify worked together on a collaboration.

When Spotify users logged into their accounts, they had the option of entering “Stranger Things Mode” In this mode, the platform assigned a playlist to the user based on one of the 13 leads of the show. This playlist was based on the user’s listening habits and music taste.

While listening to their playlist, you can watch The Upside Down come to life on your music player. What makes this effective is that it immerses the users on a personal level with the characters. It shows them a glimpse of who the characters are and what kind of music they listen to.

This is one of the best-executed ones out of the native advertising examples mentioned in this list. It’s such an immersive experience because it brings together 2 seemingly irrelevant content together. Users get to enjoy listening to music while enjoying the show through the music.

5. Netflix and The Wall Street Journal

Screenshot of the multimedia piece of Netflix and The Wall Street Journal collaboration.
Netflix and The Wall Street Journal collaborated to create an informative and interactive multimedia piece about the drug trade in Colombia.

Netflix created a powerful story in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal. They created an interactive multimedia piece called Cocainenomics. This explores the drug trade that centers around Medellín, Colombia. 

This ad features interactive maps, videos, and timelines that explain how cocaine traffickers transformed the global drug trade. It shows how this industry grew to a multibillion-dollar industry. At the end of the whole thing, you’ll even get a quiz to test what you learned through the whole ordeal. 

It was an ad that promoted Netflix’s show Narcos. The series featured real-life stories of drug kingpins of the late ‘80s. 

The Wall Street Journal caters to a specific kind of target market. This ad by Netflix is one of the most targeted in our list of native advertising examples. Netflix was well aware of the audience of The Wall Street Journal and used this to their advantage. They brought value to this audience by educating them about the harsh reality of the drug trade. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is meant by Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a part of advertising which closely resembles the main content of the platform they are published in.

2. What are some advantages of Native Advertising?

  • Better user attention
  • Build trust among customers
  • Higher clickthrough rate(CTR) compared to other forms of advertising
  • Helps increase brand awareness
  • Can easily align with the funnel strategy

3. Is Native Advertising considered ethical? 

While some believe native advertising takes advantage of readers, there are a lot of claims supporting native advertising if done ethically. Following guidelines like appropriately labeling them helps you promote your content without being morally wrong.

Key Takeaway

Native advertising is effective because it doesn’t take the consumer away from their current experience. The goal of the ad is to be so relevant and value-packed, it doesn’t feel like an ad. 

Be that as it may, it’s still important for the producers to inform the public that what they’re consuming is an ad. It’s their responsibility to do so and it’s the right of the consumers to know what they’re consuming.

The examples we’ve discussed in this article all embody that. They don’t deviate from the content and context of the platform where they’re placed and this is why they’re effective. Learning from how they created their ads is a great foundation in creating your own native ads.

LinkDoctor is an ethical white hat link-building service that aims at building organic links to help your brand stay on top of SERP. Visit our blog for more digital marketing and SEO related reads and resources.

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