25 years ago, we signed up to one of the greatest deals in history. We accepted that, in order to receive unlimited access to the weird and wonderful world of the internet, we would see ads alongside our content.

This exchange is how all of that well-loved cat content is paid for – and underpins the entire web.

The problem? Users weren’t ready for the sheer volume of ads they would see. And the result is a growing use of adblockers over the past few years—users fighting back after a bad experience of internet ads. 

But, rather than battle the blockers, we need to tackle the problem at its root: intrusive and annoying ads. We need to give users a better experience. Native video does just this. As one of the most engaging advertising formats out there, native video is transforming how people experience ads online – let me tell you why: 

1. Native video is captivating

Native video supports the consumer journey by giving them an experience. It lets the advertiser participate in – rather than compete with – their experience on a site. 

We visit sites because we’re interested in its content, so why not tailor the content of the advert to match the website? By adapting the advert’s message in this way, it’ll captivate the user and most importantly give them more of what they came for. 

native video ad

2. It builds brands 

Have you ever cried at a banner ad? Probably not, but what about a video ad? More likely. The combination of sound and motion make an incredibly powerful tool for advertisers to build their brands. 

Let’s take the John Lewis Christmas ad, for example: every year its release is hotly-anticipated and then it’s a source of conversation for weeks afterward – it feeds the customer experience and impression of the brand. Advertisers must renew their focus on video ads, or we risk losing a whole generation to ad-blindness from an overload of dull, intrusive ads.  

3. It enables cohesive storytelling  

As an industry, we spend far too much time focusing on the negative: walled gardens, fraud, issues around transparency…the list goes on. But really, we need to shift the focus to what we have achieved. 

We work with some of the most cutting-edge technology, giving us the power to curate a story like never before. Programmatic lets you target the right person, at the right time, in the right place. And through native video, we’ll deliver the right message in the right format.  

4. Native video fosters relevancy for the consumer 

Native video is refreshing in that it takes a decisive step away from those random, repetitive ads that follow you around the internet. There’s nothing worse than having already purchased something, to be chased across the internet with ads for it for the next month. 

Native video matches the look and feel of a website, fostering relevancy and meaning that banner ads simply can’t rival. 

5. It gives a better user experience than pre-roll 

Pre-roll tends to be a negative and frustrating experience, where the user is served a 30 second ad before 15 seconds of content. There may be a time and a place for pre-roll, but the time and place for native is much more here and now. Not only is native more flexible and impactful than pre-roll, it’s cheaper too. 

6. It offers flexible formats

Creative fluidity has been predicted as key for 2018, and native video really taps into this trend. The ability to be flexible with the wording, the colour palette, the font and style of the ad means you suit the site and the user. And this both improves the user’s experience of the site – and sometimes the site itself. In turn, this makes the user much more likely to return to that site—maximising the value of that website.  

7. It enhances the consumer experience 

Ultimately, users prefer sites without intrusive adverts—a fact that is well-appreciated by advertisers. The publishers I work with are frustrated by having to run bigger and brighter banner ads, more and more frequently—forcing the user to engage with them, whether they want to or not.

But instead of focussing on the ad itself, we should be worry about its impact upon the user. The fundamental goal of any company is to sell something that will make a consumer’s life better. Native video connects with the consumer, truly delivering this goal. 

Advertising shouldn’t be seen as a necessary evil, it should be relevant, helpful and unobtrusive, adding to the experience and value of a website. We need to focus our efforts on raising the quality of our advertising – and native video is the perfect format to deliver this.

So let’s ensure 2018 is the year that advertisers make native video an integral part of the programmatic strategy.

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