I was browsing through some of my research archives this morning and came across this gem written by Charles Gabriel which was featured on Techcrunch back in December 2012 – ‘Native Video Ads’ Silicon Valley’s Shiny New Thing Or Industry Savior? , and an earlier, somewhat slightly negative article entitled ‘Native Ads will save us all. Maybe‘ authored by Erin Griffith.

For me, Gabriel really hit the nail on the head, as we would say here in the UK. His article outlines, clearly, what needs to be done to solidify Native Ads in the advertising world. Advertisers have been grappling with the concept of Native Advertising for some time, with many wondering if it is simply a gimmick, something which will pass us by. Like PDA devices. Remember those? Didn’t think so! Griffith’s article points out some issues with the concept, however as I will explain in this blog, its apparent problems are actually (in my view) its real benefits.

The Importance of Quality Content

Gabriel notes the importance of quality content with which advertisers can align themselves with. This is so important, as poor quality content can actually lower a consumer’s perception of a brand. Furthermore, Gabriel underlines the importance of gaining user trust-this simply cannot be achieved by associating with content that is of poor quality production value, or using adverts which are very obviously ‘hard sell’ in style and/or completely untargeted. This is because people now can watch what they want to watch, and you can bet your bottom dollor if they are confronted with something annoying, they will quickly look (or forage, to use our omnivore terminology!) elsewhere. Gone are the days where people were offered only a few options. Today, the stakes are higher, and the consumer is more in control by virtue of pure choice. So, one of the main reasons we at NEXI engage with professional presenters for our content is not only because we want to work with people how really know what they are talking about- but also because our audience will trust us,our sponsors, and return to watch the show again and again. This of course, is complemented by our high quality production values as well as using super-savvy presenters ….but hey, flattery aside, there’s just so much involved here.

Digital Omnivores


Online Video is where Native really shines

It’s possible the whole concept of Native Advertising is, because it is quite new, is confusing to advertisers who have been used to traditional forms of communicating thier products to their market, which up until relatively recently was pretty contained. Furthermore, as a new buzzword, it can be used to relate to so many different elements. The thing is, our avenue of native advertising, online video based Native Advertising using quality content , is a win-win concept IF done correctly.

Griffith criticises the concept somewhat:

“….native ads are not easily repeatable. The “set it and forget it” days of designing a standardized IAB-approved banner ad and sending to to 100 different ad exchanges won’t work for native ads. Creating effective native ads requires creating effective content, custom-tailored to whatever platform it will appear on. Content is difficult and expensive. It requires (expensive and slow) humans. It’s subjective. This is the achilles heel of native ads”

I would not argue against Griffith’s argument here. If it were so easy to create quality content, You Tube would be full of it and there would be far less kitty-cat videos! In reality though, yes, quality content is hard to create. Studio sets up can, initially, be expensive. Presenters must be paid, scripts need to be written. But when it is there, it, blended with targeted, native advertising is, in my view, absolutely invaluable to advertisers. Griffith mentions subjectivity as something that is problematic, however I concur. Native Advertising is intelligent advertising. This means the ads must be targeted towards a particular audience. Now, human beings don’t operate in a vacuum, however crafting ads and content around a specific niche is always going to offer a marketing strategy which is more likely to resonate with the target audience. In addition, a huge benefit to be offered by Internet TV networks is that they create fantastic content-meaning the advertisers don’t have to. Although this has been a tactic used by some brands such as Red Bull, the reality is that not all companies will possess a budget, or will have a desire to create their own content. Thus, in this respect, companies such as NEXI take some of the hard work that is currently faced by advertisers in this changing climate.

Fast Food

For us, Native Advertising is online video advertising. Native Advertising and High Quality content go together hand in hand. Easy to do? Perhaps not. But we at NEXI are not in the ‘fast food’ or to put Griffth’s words, ‘easily repeatable’ industry of advertising and content creation. Today’s savvy internet user expects more. Content creators, working with marketing departments, need to deliver. Considering the rise of the multi-platform, Digital Omnivore species, who engage with such content, the benefits gained will be worth it.

Dr. Billie Lister

Billie is Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at NEXI TV. She holds a Ph.D in Sociology and Social Policy, a Masters Degree in Applied Social Research and an Honours Degree in Criminology and Sociology. – Twitter | LinkedIn