Chrysler and Bravo recently reached a deal for branded content on TV, and Red Bull and Reynolds, aluminum foil giant, announced ambitious digital content campaigns.
In the age of digital, the consumer has a choice, and increasingly that choice is being used to block and tune out ads. To keep consumers choosing their products, brands are increasingly turning to sponsored content and native advertising.
Chrysler recently announced a deal with Bravo for in-show integrations on its “Odd Mom Out,” and the network has also been working with other brands, and the car company with other media properties. Red Bull is releasing a new original series, “The Ripple Effect,” for its Red Bull TV. And Reynolds Consumer Products just entered a two-year multi-platform partnership with Meredith, a media, and marketing company.
Digital advertising is a growing business and brought in a record-setting $59.6 billion in revenue in 2017. First quarter results from 2017 were an impressive $15.9 billion, a 21 percent year-on-year increase, and income is on track to beat 2017’s high point.
“These landmark revenues confirm the growing importance of interactive for brand marketers to reach consumers who are increasingly spending their time on digital screens,” David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB, explained of the revenue growth.
Despite rapid growth in revenue, digital advertising has had trouble reaching its intended audience. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Virginia) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) recently asked the FCC to look into digital ad fraud. Ad blocking by consumers is growing at a rapid rate. And recent research has found that TV may have better ad recall and influence than digital-desktop or mobile.
Consumers are spending more and more time-consuming media on digital though, and that means brands and advertisers have to keep putting more money there, ideally finding a more efficient way to connect with the public. An increasing share of that money is going to native advertising and sponsored content. According to BI Intelligence, native Ad spends revenue will reach $7.9 billion this year and may grow to as much as $21 billion in 2018.
Native advertising mirrors its surrounding, from Facebook News Feed ads, to search results, promoted Tweets, product placements, and sponsored content on media outlets and often from them. Companies like the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Time Inc. and many others have their in-house content studios, and many are expanding their efforts in that direction.
As seen by the moves from Chrysler, Red Bull, and Reynolds, brands are also turning to native advertising and sponsored content. This format appeals to consumers because they get to choose to interact with the ads and how much they want to integrate. An advertisement on your Facebook Feed can easily be scrolled past. A sponsored post on a website can be ignored. So the goal for advertisers is to offer value from the ad experience, that can be a laugh, a lesson, or an emotional moment.
Red Bull, which now operates its digital TV station, creates content around areas that its customers are interested in. This keeps the brand present and consumers enjoy and relate to the content. They can even offer brand placements to other companies in their content.
With “The Ripple Effect” the company is taking a deep dive into the world of surfing. “For ‘The Ripple Effect,’ we explored some of the most prominent and most influential names and brands in the world,” Director of the series Peter Hamblin explained.
Reynolds, well known for its aluminum foil, is working with Meredith on a two-year partnership to develop native and editorial content for a range of platforms, from video to recipe tips the company is using tools including programmatic native ad placements and geo-targeting. It brings the use of sponsored content and tech tracking tools together.
Brian Kightlinger, vice president of Meredith Corporate Solutions, told Media Post that the company uses content to drive purchase. “Our focus is on content that engages and moves consumers down the purchase funnel. Being able to take people from awareness to inspiration to purchase was key,” he said.
That’s the goal with native advertising and Reynolds isn’t the only company to use it. Ken Lane, President of Reynolds Foil and Cooking, has insight into why so many brands and advertisers are increasing their use of native advertising.
“We’re partnering strategically with Meredith to develop a large-scale, ‘always on’ approach to reach, interact with and inspire our target audience in a manner that mutually benefits both consumers and our brands,” Lane explained. “Our program with Meredith continues to drive Reynolds KPIs across the purchase funnel, increasing product awareness, driving increased product usage and helping to expand our industry-leading market share.”