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Native advertising brings useful content to the right audience

Native advertising is a marriage of content and brand. It has provided publishers and brands with a new way to reach audiences. CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) has been leveraging this format through smart placements, data insights, and creative excellence.

media update’s Adam Wakefield spoke to Rob Bradley, CNNIC vice president digital commercial strategy, digital ad sales and data, about how his organisation is leveraging native content, and how the data native provided can be applied to new and relevant brand campaigns.

What led to CNNIC partnering with Sharethrough?

We reviewed the market, and many different technologies and Sharethrough was the closest to what we envisaged as a best in class native solution should look like – which is flexible, seamless, operationally detailed reporting, and a great account management team. They listened to our needs and created bespoke solutions.

How does CNNIC adjust its native placement according to the platform, and what placement types work well on the different platforms?

We sell audiences first, regardless of the platform. Sharethrough is reactive to the platform and this ensures seamless weaving of the native placements to create a natural viewer experience through non-intrusive placements, which increases dwell time and engagement.

How is CNNIC taking advantage of its data insights, and where are they being applied?

Data is not only informing the audience, its helping inform the right content and, in turn, it’s measuring the success and allowing us to optimise holistically across the portfolio.

One of our airline advertising partners received tangible business insights to influence its marketing strategy as a direct result of the data that we obtained. With this particular campaign, we learned that many of the people who saw the campaign had children. We fed that insight back to the brand and, as it turned out, they had been considering running a campaign targeted towards families but hadn’t been sure if it was the right move.

This gave them confirmation of what audiences they should be targeting. That kind of business insight has real value. You’re not just being a platform or media owner, you’re being an insights and research company as well.

Why do you think native ad content is a viable option for news organisations like CNNIC?

Native is about powering good quality content to the right people and enhancing user experiences. This may be a brand message, but it is ultimately delivering insightful information that is of interest to the user.

CNN tells quality, authentic stories. Brands have stories to tell, and the use of native with branded content allows us to tell those stories on a brand’s behalf in an exciting and interesting way. But, on the whole, it’s about engaging and cool content that is worthy of sitting within the CNN environment.

How does CNNIC define an obtrusive advertisement versus an unobtrusive advertisement, and what lessons do you think online advertising can learn from the success CNNIC has enjoyed?

The advertising industry has recently had to take a hard look at itself in a number of ways around the quality of experience around advertising, the use of data, and the types and style of messages that we deliver.

The use of content and native and the move towards more premium environments is the solution to that symptom. It’s about making sure quality rises. This reflects on the previous question: ensuring the content is both exciting for the user and impactful for the brand.

by Adam Wakefield
source: media update