What Wired and Netflix can Teach You About Native Advertising

Do you remember the “Snow Fall” ad experience featured on The New York Times? That was a creative attempt to take native advertising to a new level.

It would appear that Wired has just done something very similar. However, instead of recounting the details of an avalanche, the online magazine is instead advertising Netflix.

SEE ALSO: Native Advertising Evolution: Gearing up for the Long Haul

“TV Got Better”

The ad campaign is called “TV Got Better.” It’s a slideshow format advertisement that provides text, video, and charts in an effort to boost the Netflix brand.

The ad unravels as readers scroll through the article on Wired.com. About half-way through, visitors will see a streaming video featuring Arrested Development co-creator Mitch Hurwitz. That’s significant because his show got a second chance thanks to Netflix. His segment also features a bit of comic relief, which is always welcome in advertising.

One very interesting “slide” in the native ad displays how many hours of television people have been watching since the story was opened. Who says that statistics are boring?

Howard Mittman is the Vice President-Publisher at Wired. He declined to comment on how much it cost the company to produce the article. He also wouldn’t say how much Netflix paid for the native ad. He did, however, offer this insight: “It was a significant investment.”

That probably won’t surprise anyone who’s seen it.

“I think it really achieves our mission of building branded content that’s really just great content,” Mittman said.

Native ads are meant to attract readers because they’re disguised as actual content, except for a disclaimer somewhere that usually reads “Sponsored Content.” Publishers like them because they generate revenue. Advertisers like them because they tend to receive more clicks than traditional banner ads that are often located on parts of the web page that people tend to ignore.

Wired isn’t alone in developing rich content native ads. The Verge and ReadWrite have displayed similar ads in recent years.

Most native ads, however, are just text ads.

Wired will promote the article on social media as well as on Wired’s other digital properties, Mittman said.

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