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Native Advertising Defined


In the marketing world of verbiage today, there seems to be an ever elusive meaning behind – yet propensity toward using – the term “native advertising.”

Barry Lowenthal, president of Mediaa Kitchen says, “When I use the term, I’m referring to ad units or creative assets that are native and unique to a particular environment or platform.” Joe Steinburg, president of BuzzFeed, refers to the term as “native monetization” rather than native advertising.  He says that “native monetiation is driving revenue from a platform in a way that is unique and organic to the experience.”  Ben Kunz, VP of strategic planning at Mediassociates, says that “It’s advertorial.  Native advertising seems to be a sexier, digital rebranding of what is a very, very old concept.”  Although much of what they claim holds truth, we at Conversation have a bit of a broader sense of the meaning, how it is portrayed and how it has evolved over the years.

Our Founder Frank O’Brien defines it as such: “Native advertising speaks tailoring content to the specific channel.  In recent years, native has been used more in terms of mobile referring to applications – those that are built in a platform specific language vs. agnostic, web-based apps.  Because of this, the term native has a gotten a bad rap in some circles.  When it comes to traditional native advertising, which in itself is a non-traditional approach, Conversation sees it as a fantastic “side-door” tactic when used properly in the marketing mix.  Trade partnerships, sponsored content, and other alliances formed through the native approach all open that easily overlooked side-door.”

Conversation uses evolved thinking to combine effective, traditional means of reaching consumers with new, creative techniques. The more touchpoints in a campaign, the more impactful the message. We embrace the old and strategically use it to leverage the new.  Native advertising fits in with our agency’s strategic ideology very well.


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