Lexus' Native Integration Drives 6M Social Impressions

While scalability remains a concern, native ad campaigns are delivering big results for some publishers and brands. Take Lexus’s first native integration on TotallyHer’s fashion and beauty destination, theFashionSpot.
Over the past month, the campaign racked up nearly 6 million social impressions (5,995,312 to be exact), according to Geoff Schiller, Chief Revenue Officer of TotallyHer parent Evolve Media.
“This [was] defined as the fully realized reach for all content using the #fuelyourpassion and #lexusct hashtags,” Schiller said, referring to Lexus’s new 2014 CT Hybrid, and its tagline, “Fuel your passion.” That’s “basically the number if all followers saw the content posted (including retweets),” he clarified.

Throughout the month, the campaign averaged 60 new social content pieces per hour with a high of 1,800 per hour on February 7. A top five fashion property, according to comScore, theFashionSpot lavished Lexus with original editorial programming, and social “amplification” using what Schiller calls “social visualization.”
“Social visualization captures user content dynamically -- like when users tweet or send an Instagram -- and uses it to populate platforms,” said Schiller. To keep the content kosher, “It involves using our standard editorial filter,” he said.
To max out share of voice for Lexus during the month, TheFashionSpot’s editorial staff came up with “on message” material like an interview with fitness guru Tracy Anderson.
The story, “How Tracy Anderson Fuels Her Passion,” runs alongside ads for the Lexus CT and its tagline, “Fuel your passion.” A clear cue for readers to share the message, one banner prominently features the quasi-call-to-action: “#fuelyourpassion.”
But don’t try describing the Anderson story as an “advertorial" to Schiller. “It’s a value-add for Lexus, but they had no oversight, so it’s not an advertorial.” If not executed properly, however, such executions do have the potential to turn off readers, brands, and featured personalities like Anderson.
“These are not campaigns that we’re going to churn out as a commodity,” Schiller said. “You can’t or else you lose control.”
Yet, by one definition, that’s doesn’t mean publishers can’t scale their native efforts.
“We’re working on scaling the few campaigns we do develop, and social plays a big part in that,” Schiller explained.
Going forward, he said similar efforts would be implemented across Evolve’s CraveOnline Media and TotallyHer Media publishing divisions.
More broadly, Schiller -- previously with Hearst Digital Media, where he served as chief sales officer -- is trying to improve the distribution and discovery of editorial and ad content across Evolve properties. To do so, he’s relying on Crowd Ignite -- a content exchange engine that Evolve bought in 2011 for a reported $1 million. Crowd Ignite’s technology contextually connects audiences of similar interests.
J.P. Morgan recently predicted that native would take over digital channels in 2014. “We believe native ads are quickly becoming the de facto ad format on mobile and increasingly moving into desktop,” lead analyst Doug Anmuth wrote in J.P. Morgan’s annual “Nothing But Net” report.
It was especially significant that Anmuth and his colleagues tied the success of native to mobile, considering that they expect ad dollars devoted to the channel to overtake desktop dollars this year.

Last year, eMarketer predicted that the native niche would hit $2.85 billion by 2014.



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