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Native advertising news and updates from the team behind Respond, the native advertising platform.

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Dennis Publishing Launches Respond Native Ad Placements with Barclays, HP and Castrol

Dennis Publishing has launched a new range of native advertising placements as part of a trial across their portfolio of award-winning websites with native advertising platform Respond. The first set of campaigns for major brands including Barclays, HP and Castrol are running across sites including The Week, Auto Express, Evo and IT Pro.
 
The new native advertising placements are positioned "in-stream", where eye-tracking studies show users focus their attention, across both home and article pages. Clearly labelled as "Sponsored", the native ad units expand when clicked to display creative including video, or click-through to sponsored content.
 
Elaine dela Cruz, Digital Trading Director at Dennis Publishing said, "Our goal is to deliver an outstanding return on investment to our advertisers and a superb user experience for our readers. Native and content-led advertising is absolutely core to our direct sales proposition and Respond’s native advertising placements will work to strengthen our proposition."
 
Guy Cookson, co-founder of Respond, said, "Dennis have a portfolio of sites that is ideally suited to advertising that places a real value on their brands, content, and editorial environment. We are really enthused about working closely with the Dennis team to create and deliver innovative new native advertising placements that help relevant people to discover and engage with brand content at the right time and place." 
 
Dennis Publishing is one of the world’s leading independently owned media companies with a turnover in excess of £100 million a year and has won the prestigious Digital Publisher of the Year title at both the AOP and PPA Digital Awards of 2014. 21 million people a month visit one of Dennis’ 31 websites.
 
Respond is a product of Azullo, which was founded in the UK in 2009 by Guy Cookson and Andrew Dobson. After attracting funding from a group of leading technology investors, Respond was launched to help to pioneer native advertising as a new way to generate revenue for publishers by helping advertisers engage readers without compromising user experience. 


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Native "a major improvement over banner ads"

 

But if native ads do become the de facto standard of online advertising, they will be a major improvement over banner ads. Both technologically and aesthetically, they do not sit apart from the content with which they appear. This makes them far less annoying to users. An ad for Levi’s on Instagram looks just as pretty as a photo from your friends. Even better, it does not take ages to load, does not crowd your screen with animations and is not a pain to dismiss.

The same is true for sponsored messages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard and other social networks; the ads are just not such a bother.

- Farhad Manjoo, Fall of the Banner Ad: The Monster That Swallowed the Web, New York Times

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5 Ways Respond Makes Native Advertising Pay

Respond is the native advertising platform you’ve been waiting for.

Join leading sites like AutoExpress, The Week, Evo, PC Pro and The Drum in generating revenue from Respond powered native campaigns with leading brands and agencies like Mindshare, Experian, HP, Barclays and VW.

Contact us now >>

1. Get Higher CPMs

Respond ad placements are highly valued by brands and agencies. Our publisher clients charge top of rate card prices - typically £30 to £100 CPM depending on the vertical - when they sell Respond powered campaigns.

2. Get Bigger Budgets

Boost your average ad order value by 30% or more by adding a Respond native line item. Respond fully integrates with your existing ad server, so you can easily add native to the campaigns you sell using the same targeting, controls and inventory management.

3. Get Better ROI

Respond’s native placements achieve a 10x - 50x times higher CTR than other premium ad units, averaging 2% CTR, plus better engagement, leading to happy clients, higher rates and all-important renewals.

4. Get More Efficient

Create native ads instantly from any content, including your CMS, optimise in real time, and serve using your existing ad server. Respond ads are responsive for every device, and native to every site design in your portfolio. Respond slots right into your existing workflow, saving you time and money from day one.

5. Get Started Now

Respond works with your existing ad tech so you don’t need to add new code to the page. Unlike our competitors, we don’t charge for integration, training or support. For a low monthly fee you could join our clients and start generating six figures in new ad revenue before you know it.

Respond makes native advertising just work with in-stream ad placements, for any site, on any device. Learn more about Respond, or contact us now

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"When advertising becomes disruptive to the flow, you have more engagement"

A nice quote by George Eid, partner and creative director of Area 17, which designed Quartz, on the benefits of in-stream advertising:

When advertising becomes disruptive to the flow, you have more engagement. You read an article, you get a word from our sponsors, and you read another article. It disrupts the flow but engages the user. In the righthand column, that process is destructive.

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"The beauty of native advertising is that it removes misaligned incentives"

A great insight from Edward Kim, co-founder and CEO of SimpleReach, in Digiday:

The banner ad ties the worth of any given article to the views it generates. In a CPM-compressed environment, a great article might only be worth $10. The beauty of native advertising is that it removes misaligned incentives, and separates the editorial article from the ad product. No longer is a publisher’s revenue tied to any one article. Rather, a publisher’s value reflects the library of content it produces.
When a healthcare brand wants to run a native campaign to promote thought leadership, for example, its primary concern isn’t the traffic volume of the partner site. Instead, the brand seeks to partner with whichever publisher has created the highest-quality content in the space. With native advertising, the revenue incentives are aligned so that great content wins and attracts ad dollars. In absolute terms, the value brands are ascribing to quality content is higher than we’ve seen in a very long time.

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"People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad."

A great response to John Oliver's hilarious takedown of native advertising by Dominic Mills in Mediatel:

It may be because it is a superb evisceration of native advertising, or it may be because it's the silly season, but comedian John Oliver's 11-minute rant on HBO last week about the evils of native advertising has got the chatterati going.

I've lost count of the number of people forwarding it to me. The way some people are talking you'd think native was like the Ebola virus.

Just plug it into Google and you can see the acres of comment and hand-wringing, including this from respected commentator Joe Marchese arguing that Oliver is a genius.

All this will be music to the ears of another commentator, Bob Garfield, a one-man Red Cross unit fighting the good fight against the pernicious epidemic that is native advertising.

But as the debate heats up, it's worth just standing back for a moment.

At this juncture, it seems an appropriate moment to introduce my favourite quote about advertising, from the now-deceased copywriter Howard Gossage, known by some as the Socrates of San Francisco.

He said: "People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad."

Though his quote pre-dates any concept of native advertising, or even its forerunner, the 'advertorial', Gossage's quote seems especially relevant.

Indeed, you could say that the whole BuzzFeed model (I see it now claims to do business with 76% of the 100-largest US advertisers) is inspired by Howard Gossage's dictum.

People read BuzzFeed because it interests them, and nearly all the time it's an ad. Judging by the traffic, they don't feel conned.

Read the rest here

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Time is right for native

From The Drum:

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp is creating a new eight-person team specialising in developing native ads. 

Unveiled to staff in an memo from chief content officer Norm Pearlstine and executive vice president Mark Ford, the Time Inc. Native Group will work side-by-side with editorial staff. 

Also included in the memo was Chris Hercik, creative director of the Sports Illustrated Group, who was named VP of the new team. Hercik commented: "Creativity is agnostic, as long as it is mutually beneficial to the brand and the advertiser." 

The ads, which are designed to closely resemble editorial content, have come into criticism from editorial purists, but with the native ad business projected to grow 23 per cent this year Ford insisted: "We're not trying to trick people. We're just trying to create great content."

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Upworthy finds native ads often outperform editorial

Upworthy says posts from advertisers get more attention than editorial posts.

I can't imagine editorial teams will be pleased to hear this, but it speaks to the power of a good native campaign - from AdAge:

"Three months ago the first major brand advertising campaign appeared on Upworthy, a mix of paid and curated posts promoting Unilever's Project Sunlight initiative. Now Upworthy is saying content from advertisers -- in the form of what it calls "promoted posts" -- regularly outperforms typical editorial posts on the site."

 

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Banners get no love at Cannes as native rises

From Digiday:

The beleaguered banner ad has been a whipping boy at Cannes this year, despite still being a workhorse for so many who abused it.

Hating on banner ads is hardly new, but the digital media industry, including publishers that use them, made a particular point to denigrate them at Cannes this year. And the yin to the banner bashing’s yang was a love fest for native advertising, in all of its hard-to-define forms.

“Banners are a huge part of our business. There’s nothing wrong with them. But I’ll challenge any reader on this: Name one memorable banner campaign since banners were invented,” said The New York Times’s vice president of branded content Sebastian Tomich.

His comments came just moments after he and Times executive vice president Meredith Levien presented the paper’s portfolio of impressive native ads, including the headline-grabbing piece it created for Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

“Native does have the power to bring memorable, digital-first advertising,” Tomich added.

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Content that readers find valuable

Ultimately, advertisers’ and publishers’ goals are aligned: to produce content that readers find valuable. Truthfully, neither party has vested interests in seeing this fail. Publications and sponsors would want nothing less than for native ads to go the way of banner ads.

As more and more publishers adopt native advertising, they will build out talented “branded content teams.” At the same time, advertisers’ marketing messages will evolve to focus less on aggressive short-term sales and to think about the bigger picture — the ideas and values they want to communicate to customers. In theory, this will lead to better user experiences because customers do not want to be sold products, they want to be sold a lifestyle.

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Orange Is The New Black: Native advertising comes of age

Online audiences are oohing and ahhing over Netflix’s New York Times branded content on women inmates, tied to the hit series Orange Is the New Black.

While this is one of the first pieces created out of the Grey Lady’s T Brand Studio, Netflix isn’t new to the native advertising. And a source close to the situation told Adweek that Netflix was looking to ramp up on native ads/branded content because it is pleased with the outcome of the NYT effort as well as a recent initiative with Wired. A sponsored article with the tech-focused magazine on TV viewing habits was also lauded for editorial content.

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Study: Native ads 2.5x better than programmatic at meeting digital branding objectives

A new study by Millward Brown has found that native advertising is considered by media buyers to be more effective for digital branding than any other advertising or marketing channel, except social: 

When asked what ad types “meet their digital branding objectives,” those surveyed—who could make multiple selections—answered with the following frequency: social (51 percent); native (46 percent); email (36 percent); paid search (23 percent); mobile Web (23 percent); “emotionally targeted” in-game (20 percent); mobile in-app (20 percent); programmatic (18 percent); regular in-game (14 percent); text messaging (12 percent); and ads purchased directly from websites and blogs (11 percent).

One of the benefits of native advertising is that the ad placements are usually placed in-stream, where they have a very high likelihood of being noticed and acted upon. The study found 37% of those questioned had concerns about programmatic due to banner blindness, which may help to account for why the respondents found native to two and half times more better at meeting digital branding objectives.

The company surveyed 300 marketers from Fortune 5,000 companies in 17 business categories. 

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Quote: Judy Shapiro on the native advertising debate

"It is heartening to see that the native debate is forcing the industry to ask hard questions about the digital ad ecosystem. It is even more encouraging to see the innovation that is emerging as a result of this honest look at the effectiveness of digital ads. No doubt we will see wondrous new types of engagement or experiential ad units deeply informed by rich (not big) data and consumer choice thus saving digital advertising's soul from marketing oblivion."

- Judy Shapiro, CEO and founder of engageSimply, and chief brand strategist at CloudLinux

(via Ad Age

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Quote: Richard Dunmall of Bauer Media on native advertising

“The relationship between content creation and commercialism is more blurred than ever but that’s actually quite exciting. 

“What we realised about our audience based on, surprise surprise, asking them what they thought ,was that they’re quite happy to have a blurred line between content and commercial provided there is a value exchange for them as individuals.

“Forms of branded content, and making sure that it is well known but also a more immersive experience, is key to our strategy and a big opportunity for us."

- Richard Dunmall, MD of advertising, Bauer Media

(via TheDrum)

MD: Richard Dunmall

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Quote: Bill Bourdon of Bateman Group on native advertising

"The movement to publish branded stories across destinations ranging from Facebook to The New York Times, also known as native advertising, is drawing a lot of attention and ad dollars.

"Market researcher BIA/Kelsey estimates U.S. native ad spending on social sites alone will reach $4.57 billion by 2017, almost triple the $1.6 billion spent in 2012.  Nearly 75 percent of U.S. online publishers now offer native advertising, according to the Online Publishers Association and Radar Research.

"It’s safe to say that native advertising is exploding. And rightfully so: When done well, it affords an enormous opportunity for brands to engage with audiences in an authentic way. As a result, the potential for brand marketers and their agencies — both PR and advertising — is huge."

- Bill Bourdon, owner and general manager at Bateman Group, a digital communications and content agency with offices in San Francisco and New York City. 

(via VentureBeat)

Bill Bourdon, Bateman Group

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Quote: Gary Rayneau of Dennis Publishing on native advertising

"Done correctly, done with integrity, native advertising is an extremely positive approach to marketing. It sets out to minimise consumer interruption and maximise consumer interest. If the industry gets it right, publishers will remain commercially viable, brands will be able to communicate with consumers in more engaging ways, and consumers will get more interesting content."

- Gary Rayneau, Head of Digital Sales at Dennis Publishing

Gary Rayneau: head of digital sales at Dennis Publishing

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Quote: Paul Hood of Archant on using native advertising to get a better return for both publisher and client

“Display advertising remains the primary revenue stream for the site but we are less interested in relying on programmatic advertising where we can’t control the floor prices. It’s still part of the revenue mix and we are still open to it but we want to reduce reliance on it.

“Now we have introduced native formats, and we are testing and learning there. The term native is over-hyped, it’s just a response to what we have all been talking about – the fact that display ad yields have been commoditised by oversupply, so yields have been going through the floor.

“So unless you have audience and scale of gargantuan proportions it doesn’t work for you as you have to sell it cheap. If you’re not a scale player, which we aren’t compared to the likes of the Huffington Posts of the world, then if we sell it cheap we would just go out of business.

“Native advertising has just come about because there needs to be a stand-out point of difference for this commoditised, display advertising. There is an issue with banner blindness – people tune out to them when they clutter a page.

“We have found engagement on ads much higher when there are fewer of them on a page, which is why we have cut back on the amount of ad slots across our portfolio to around four per page. We are not interested in saturating our site with loads of ad slots that are sold via programmatic networks. Our approach is to go for the premium sell.” 

- Paul Hood, Digital Director, Archant London

(via The Drum)

Archant overhauls London24 digital media brand to cater for native advertising and signs Renault as launch partner

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