The story of the week is Facebook incorrectly measuring attention on its video ads for 2 years! Read it here.

It’s kind of a simple (and easy to make) mistake in the algorithm. But it has gone unchecked for so long. Facebook said it didn’t impact what people paid but incorrect data changes everything about your ad spend. This supports the need for an open eco-system, which arguably Google has been more adept at. But if you are Facebook, the current ad stack would murder the user experience, just look at the mobile web! Conundrum indeed. My take, open measurement will be allowed by FB with strict protocols around user experience.

Notable Stories this Week

Campaign of the Week

  • Epix mirroring the success of Netflix’s native content for their new show Graves with this piece on the WaPo. Simple and very speedy load time.
  • This eBay Promoted Post on Imgur– it is cheesy! But gets the point across. Hunt on eBay for weird geeky gifts, embracing your inner geek.


  • AppNexus raised $31m, which included $10m from Yahoo Japan. Off the back of TheTradeDesk hot IPO these guys are likely to be next.

Smartest Commentary

  • [How Google Ruined Content Marketing] “The native ad networks themselves have made it difficult for content marketers to adopt them for distribution. They were created with the same language and thinking behind Google’s advertising network. This further encourages content marketers to hand off their top-funnel content to the ‘PPC guy.’ These are not the people who should be doing native advertising for content marketers’ top-funnel content.” – Chad Pollitt
  • “Viewability is a valuable ad validation method but it was never designed to tell us anything about effectiveness,” he cautioned. “Be aware of viewability’s limitation, and always assess it in context.” – Hugo Drayton

Datapoints of Note

  • 36% of social sharing happens on-page for native content. Nudge, 2016.
  • Including the advertisers name in a mobile native ads disclosure increased CTR by 220%.
  • “Branded content is highly effective across the branding funnel and outperforms display ads. In addition to aided recall’s 59 percentage point increase, brand favorability was 7 percentage points higher and purchase consideration was 9 percentage points higher.”
    And more from this study:
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Mention Your Brand: ‘Higher Branding,’ defined as 2x the number of brand mentions, caused brands to be perceived as more educational by over 7 percentage points and performs better on mobile devices.
  • Longer Form Branded Content Drives Millennial Purchase Consideration: 18-34 year olds responded better to long articles, driving higher engagement consideration rates and aiding recall.

Trends to Watch/Bleeding Edge

  • Cognitive Ads, great use of ‘inventing a new term’ for ads powered by Weather Channel data and IBM Watson. We’re just starting to see the realities of machine learning in the space. The output in this example is personalized recipes based on location and weather, I would gather context (work, home or mobile) would also feed in to this. Neat stuff!



That’s it! Thanks for reading. If you’d like to learn about our research in the space, reach out or check them out here.


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