Native advertising has been the talk of the past year and we believe this will still be the hottest format of advertising people will talk about in 2014.
The very definition of native advertising has proven tricky to nail down, indicating how the concept is in a period of evolution. A recent report from AOL UK managed to find some consensus on a definition and concluded that native advertising was “sponsored content, which is relevant to the consumer experience, which is not interruptive, and which looks and feels similar to its editorial environment”.
From our Future of Britain study we saw that people these days snack on content from different platforms. This ingrained flitting behaviour, accompanied by the help technology has given them to fast-forward ads or have ad blockers in place, have provided people with the opportunity to avoid advertising or to ‘ad dodge’, as we defined it. Brands and advertisers need to think in new ways to cut through the clutter and engage these audiences. We also saw that there is an appetite for advertising as long as the messages are relevant and tailored to audience needs. As a consequence of this we forecast a growth of native advertising in the future. Because of its non-intrusive nature and more meaningful way of communicating, audiences will be less likely to actively avoid it.