Native Advertising Could Feel Right At Home On Smaller Screens

It gets a little pointless to mark trends in online video. It’s still an awfully new business so that what you might want to call a trend is really just evolution.

Yahoo, for example, just announced new native advertising properties for mobile devices, which would seem to be hitting two evolutionary birds with one stone. Not only is the mobile platform becoming the first-screen consideration for many publishers and advertisers, native advertising is becoming, if not the preferred way to sell, then at least one of the preferred ways to go.

It’s so new that “native advertising” doesn’t have very uniform definitions. You might want to say, “I’ll know when I see it,” but it seems that the hidden ideal is to not to know it when you see it.

At the recent NewFronts, The New York Times did slow down its presentation a bit to explain that its paid content will really, really look like paid content, but then, that’s The New York Times. Other sites, other advertisers aren’t likely to be so obvious.

As online advertising and content grows and merges into one—as Hulu’s collaboration with Chipotle’s did with “Farmed and Dangerous” –how it plays with advertisers and viewers will spell how it will progress. 

You’ve got to give consumers some credit for knowing when they’re being sold.  Consumers must now be learning that all of life itself has become a stage for native advertising. There’s no free lunch. Never, ever.

Native does play well with a mobile advancing world, too. Though mobile users are apparently not averse to watching longer content on mobile units, small bursts of content obviously should have appeal. If you pair content with native advertising in one swirl and you’ve got a business.

Yahoo, which says half of its traffic is now coming from smartphones, is ready to get in the business of selling native on mobile, with a look and a feel that will seem enough like editorial to be agreeable to the eye and ear, and just distinct enough that a finicky, discerning consumer can tell what’s going on.  

Ditto, Evolve Media which is touting theFashionSpot.com and Momtastic’s Cover Story products that, it says  in its announcement story “greets women with a full screen welcome content experience featuring videos and native beauty-themed editorial that integrates the launch sponsor organically within the unit. The Cover Story acts as a fully integrated brand campaign combining a social media amplification strategy supported by branded pre-roll and display advertisements.”

You wonder where this will all go.

SHOW & TELL: You will hear a lot of people tell you that Europe isn’t like the United States, and of course that’s true and obvious.  And yet sometimes, a visual example of the differences tells the story much better than words can convey.  Watch this government-produced ad from Denmark , pulled after one day and imagine if anything even close to this was attempted in this fractured nation:

From Financial Times, this story excerpt: 

Morgen Lykketoft, speaker of Folketinget, the Danish parliament, had previously warmly endorsed the video. “We are trying to inspire the very young to go out and vote. It is important we get a higher turnout, especially among the young. You have to use all sorts of methods,” he told state radio on Monday. He added: “I think it’s rather innocent. You can find much worse.”

pj@mediapost.com

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