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The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising


Native Advertising has recently received quite a bit of publicity, yet the full impact of native advertisement is seldom understood.

But first, let's review the definition of native advertising. Native ads are online or new media advertisements (i.e. video games, music, web pages, etc.) that resemble regular website or media content, yet paid for and typically created by advertisers instead of by content publishers, writers, and artists. Native advertising is similar to newspaper and magazine advertorials where paid ads appear as articles or editorials with a minor note stating that the articles are actually paid advertisements.


As with everything, native advertising has both advantages and disadvantages that should be better understood to determine in native ads are right for you.

The Advantages of Native Advertising
  1. More Useful: Since native advertisements provide better customer targeting, they are typically more useful and interesting information to consumers than traditional advertising.
  2. Cost Efficient: Online advertisements are significantly cheaper than traditional advertising; and since native advertising is more targeted, their costs are much more efficient.
  3. Higher Perception: Consumers are becoming more ad blind, meaning that customers no longer notice more traditional forms of advertisements, such as banner ads, billboards, commercials, etc. Since native advertising better focuses consumers’ attention, these ads have a higher perception (conscious awareness and subconscious brand re-enforcement).
  4. Less Intrusion: Native ads are less intrusive to consumers, thus better flow with the media’s context and content. As a result, native advertising enhances, instead of detracts, for a better user experience. Again, this is better for brand perception.
  5. Increase Followers: Native advertisement increases the number of consumers following the product as well as better informing them as well.


The Disadvantages of Native Advertising
  1. Confusion/Devious: Consumers often are confused or deceived by assuming native advertising are regular news reports or articles. Once consumers realize that they have been tricked, consumers tend to result with a much more unfavorable opinion of the product.
  2. Exploitation of Business: Some online publishers and their consumers believe native advertising crosses the ethical lines for the sake of more money. For instance, it is not unusual for websites to see a decrease in web traffic after introducing native advertisements; yet at the same time, the same websites increase in revenue.
  3. Backlash: Besides losing readers and customers, messages boards, online comments, and blogs tend to be very critical of the sudden introduction of native advertising. This backlash is often out of control to both the advertisers and publishers, especially once it moves onto other websites.
  4. Repackaged Advertorials: Native ads are considered nothing more than repackaged advertorials with a minor online twist.
  5. Penalization: It is believed that search engines and advertisers, such as Google, consider web pages that have native advertising as spam or advertising, thus lowers the rankings of entire websites that has native advertisement.
Obviously, advertisers are for any new forms of advertising, yet consumers’ opinions are more varied and can be at times more harsh than ever before, especially online. As a result and in my opinion, as native advertising becomes more popular with advertisers, it will become less popular with consumers and publishers thus ultimately reducing the effectiveness of native advertising.

by Phil for Humanity
on 20130611

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