The Best Native Advertising Examples of 2018 [continuously updated]

Jessica Toib | Updated on November 16, 2018

Each week we pick extraordinary campaigns, which we spotlight in This Week in Native Ads (sign up to the newsletter here). Inclusion in This Week in Native Ads, automatically gets you in consideration for the best of the year. See 2015, 2016 & 2017.

If you’d like to submit your own work for consideration, please do so here.

If you haven’t been able to find relevant examples for you, feel free to send us a note. The team would be happy to send some across.



Summary list

Q1

On the Road in 2017 – Where we drove and why


This is a terrific piece by Waze on T Brand Studio. We love data-driven content. Here’s a fun data point: “You’d expect more people to hit the gym in January — and Waze users did. But they also made 14% more trips to fast-food restaurants at the end of December, compared to the previous four weeks.”

Category: Software / Application
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/12

 

Hyperloop: Designing the Future of Transport?


Altran designs for Hyperloop

We love this piece of content from Altran on FT, exploring the Hyperloop and one of the teams getting after it. Great (commercial) and awareness piece for the engineering firm. It inspires us to go to them if we want to do great work.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/26

 

Danny McBride’s Dundee Movie is really just a Super Bowl Ad

Tourism Australia Presents Dundee
Tourism Australia came out with a Dundee revival. Crocodile Dundee, for many, is how we fell in love with Australia in the first place. After seeing this commercial we really want to see the movie (let’s get it into production). It’s timely, culturally relevant, and for some it brings up a lot of nostalgia.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/26

 

Dear Gus

P&G campaign #loveoverbias
Proctor & Gamble + The Players Tribune bring us a heartwarming letter from Pip Kenworthy, mother of Olympic Alpine Skiier Gus Kenworthy. It’s a part of their #LoveOverBias Campaign for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Category: Sports
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/2

 

The world in 2384: Is it possible to achieve immortality?

Netflix series altered carbon
Netflix on Wired for Altered Carbon. The experts weigh in on predictions for the future.

Category: Entertainment
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/9

 

Using Smart Technology to Aid Factory Workers

vmware ad on smart technology
VMWare on Re:Think talking about how smart technology can benefit factory workers. Good example of pulling in The Atlantic audience with smart content and relating it to how VMWare can help.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/9

 

Pint by pint, Maryland’s Sustainable Breweries Support Local Communities

Maryland Breweries Support Local Communities
Maryland’s Beaches and beyond on WP Brand studio featuring local business (win) and a compelling reason to visit year round (craft beer).

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/16

 

Smart cities: Charleston, South Carolina

Volvo's Smart Cities - Charleston
Volvo + National Geographic bring a great piece about a beautiful city steeped in rich history, with a new creative economy that will only continue to grow. You see why Volvo’s keen to share that this is where their first American factory is opening up later this year.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/16

 

Never before seen Footage of Media Animals battling it out in their Natural Habitat

CollegeHumor's Media Landscape
A hilarious video by CollegeHumor explaining the current media environment.

Category: Media
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/16

 

Hands-on Design: Ranch Houses

Nest + Curb on the Ranch House
Nest + Curbed is the perfect partnership. In this piece they’re talking about the most popular house types in America; what does the first Apple computer, The Brady Bunch and Breaking Bad have in common? They all took place in a “ranch house”.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/23

 

A Sailors Life

BBC + Cunard about the life of a sailor
Cunard + BBC bring a piece which shares a unique perspective on the natural and cultural phenomena that are sea voyages. Great story, some nice imagery and includes a strong CTA.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/23

 

How To Protect Your Data From Hackers

Okta + The Onion on Data Protection
Okta + The Onion give tips on how to keep your data safe.

Category: Cyber Security
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/2

 

The Someday Ride

BMW's Short Film Featuring Their Motorcycle
BMW brings a beautiful short film that is artfully shot. It incorporates universals truths in our technological age and our longing to get away.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/2

 

Designing for the Future

Volvo + Atlantic's Re:Think About The Future of Design
Volvo on Re:Think talking about the future and their own approaches to people-centered design.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/2

 

Is NZ ready for its $80 billion investment windfall?

The Spinoff with Simplicity bring a great piece of thought leadership
The Spinoff with Simplicity (NZ’s 401k) is a great thought leadership piece. The topic draws you in and is enhanced by the existence of the brand.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/9

 

In a world of wannabes, Lee-Ann Curren Transcends Labels

Van partners up with Huck to reach a niche audience.
Vans partners up with Huck to reach their niche audience. It’s a great story of surfer musician Lee-Ann Curren supplemented with good video and photos.

Category: Fashion
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/9

 

HomePod — Welcome Home by Spike Jonze

Apple's beautiful curate ad for HomePod
Apple posted a beautifully curated piece, promoting their HomePod, on how music can brighten up any day.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/9

 

The Myth of Nature’s Second Brain, Exposed

Mailchimp branded content via Vox explainer video Mailchimp partnered with Vox for this piece of content. Interesting, on brand for MailChimp, and in front of the right audience. Good to see Vox getting traction with their explainer video format. Watch out for ‘manage the back end of your small business’.

Category: Marketing
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/16

 

Bushmills City Guides

Bushmills' city guides Bushmills via Vice: guides for celebrating St Patrick’s day in some US cities.

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/16

 

The Many Faces of Masculinity

Harry's many faces of masculinity Poignant piece from Harry’s on Washington Post about men challenging traditional notions of what it means to be a man.

Category: Beauty
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/23

 

Ice Blazers

Under Armour Launches Branded Content Venture with Nigerian Bobsledders Under Armour launches a branded content venture with Nigerian bobsledders. This is a perfect fit for the brand and its mission.

Category: Sports
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/23

 

The Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra

Technics - Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra Technics presents the Philharmonic Turntable Orchestra. Beautiful.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/23

Q2

 

A Cyclist’s Guide to Ottawa’s Culinary Scene

A Cyclist’s Guide to Ottawa’s Culinary Scene
Destination Canada on Bon Appetit takes us on a culinary adventure. You had me at Smoky Old Fashioned!

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/6

 

Henry Rollins and Mercedes Explore the Vulnerable Side of ‘Toughness’ in Branded Content Series

Henry Rollins for Mercedes Henry Rollins Travels across Australia – focused on Tough Conversations.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/6

 

Pioneering Spirits

Lexus on CNN - pioneering sprits Lexus on CNN takes a look at four men who are driving innovation at Lexus.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/6

 

Blockchain – The New Technology of Trust

Goldman Sachs on Blockchain Goldman Sachs on Mic educating about the blockchain via a well crafted interactive experience.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/13

 

The High-Speed Future of the Hyperloop and What It Means for Airlines

cartrawler on skift about hyperloop CarTrawler + Skift talk the future of short haul travel, with the development of Hyperloop, and the implications it will have.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/13

 

The Storytellers of Vermont

CBS + Toyota: The storytellers of vermont CBS with Toyota in Vermont, with a light brand integration. It’s designed to reflect the audience and the brand’s relationship, an elegant nod to native integration. Laid back and shines the light on Vermont culture.

Category: Auto
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/4

 

Saving Our World

Business Insider + BASF: Saving our World This Business Insider series with BASF discusses the future in the face of our planet’s environmental issues.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/4

 

Diamond in the Rough

National Geographic + Rolls Royce: Diamond in the Rough Rolls Royce + National Geographic. The brand has been slowly releasing the hype videos in the build up to their SUV launch. To establish SUV credibility, the vehicle is still in pre-launch wrapping, so that you focus on its merits. Smart. A partnership with Nat Geo is also not one you would expect from Rolls Royce but it helps impart the adventure and opportunities.

Category: Auto
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/4

 

The Urban Wild

Vice + Visit Copenhagen - Urban Wilds Vice partners with Visit Copenhagen, sending Brandon Jew Chef at Mr Jiu’s in San Francisco to Copenhagen to meet Kristian Baumann.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/11

 

Crazy/Genius

Atlantic + Westworld present crazy/genius HBO/WestWorld partner with The Atlantic for Crazy/Genius, a podcast-hub on The Atlantic which cover topics in technology and culture.

Category: Entertainment
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/11

 

How Blockchain is Disrupting AR

Venturebeat + Scanetchain Scanetchain with VentureBeat is simple straightforward thought leadership highlighting the interesting work that one startup is doing.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/18

 

SoFi presents Woman who Paid off Student Loan Debt with Parade and Party

SoFi throws a paid off debt party SoFi threw an awesome “graduation” for one lucky user who paid off her student loans.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 5/25

 

The 12 Best Father’s Day Gifts for the Stay-at-Home Dad

Minnetonka best father's day gifts Gear Patrol’s best father’s day gifts with Minnetonka. Simple, straight forward. Features the product and positions the brand based on the other products’ tacit endorsement by being on the list.

Category: Fashion
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/1

 

How Corning, New York, Changed the World With Glass

Corning Museum of Glass Atlas Obscura with The Corning Museum of Glass is really good. I like their style of telling interesting stories, anchored in a brands heritage. Plus a great local example.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/1

 

Smirnoff Teams up with Lad Bible for long-term ‘Free to Be’ Nightlife Diversity Push

Smirnoff + LADBible "unsung heroes" Smirnoff with Lad Bible, the unsung heroes of your night out. Great social messaging.

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/8

 

11 Branded Content Masterminds Who Are Elevating the Art of Marketing

adweek content masterminds [Nativeception] SV Vision Media celebrating the Creative 100.

Category: Advertising
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/15

 

How to mix Content and Targeting to Cut Through

campaign gumgum round table GumGum on Campaign Live talking about how to mix content and targeting to cut through. Some great quotes from their round table.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/15

 

How the World Cup became the Biggest Game in the World

fox sports world cup explainer video FOX Sports with USA Today looking at how the World Cup became the biggest game in the world.

Category: Sports
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/15

 

Father’s Day Surprise – Busch Beer

busch for fathers day Busch beer puts on a Father’s Day Surprise. Give your dad what he wants, a beer, with you.

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/15

 

Making a Masterpiece that Transcends Time

janus et cie with financial times JANUS et Cie on FT tell a story about making a masterpiece that transcends time. Great storytelling, high quality images and fantastic brand lift throughout. Truth be told, we haven’t seen a piece quite like it. Well done!

Category: Furniture
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/22

 

How AI is Changing Marketing

ibm watson marketing on artificial intelligence IBM Watson Marketing on Business Insider. Loving the format; great story, educational and consistently links through to their own content.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/29

 

Ikea finds Practical Use for its Cardboard Box Waste in Helping Kids Create Toys

ikea's toy box app IKEA’s campaign is built on 17 years worth of online conversations with parents and from analyzing 15m rows of dialogue data, showing that 50% of parents surveyed struggle to find ideas to encourage creative play amongst their children. The result: a practical use for its cardboard box waste in helping kids create toys. Creative, positive and fun.

Category: Furniture
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 6/29

Q3

 

A Pepsi-funded Movie Based on a Soda Commercial Character

A Pepsi-funded movie based on a soda commercial character

Pepsi funded Dr Drew pulls in $15.5m in its opening weekend. Surely the pinnacle of content in 2018!

Category: Food + Drink
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/6

 

Sweatlag: Sweat Out every Time Zone

Sweatlag: Sweat Out every Time Zone Brand partnerships as branded content. Delta partnered with Equinox on Furthermore, the Equinox content platform. This is the new nativception. I like this piece, combining looking after yourself through pre-flight, during, and post flight. Sweatlag!

Category: Fitness
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/12

 

#EvolveTheDefinition

#EvolveTheDefinition

Bonobos calls for an evolution of masculinity. The content goes deep with personal interviews of men talking about what masculinity means to them.

Category: Fashion
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/20

 

A New York Couple Revisits Their ’60S Honeymoon in Miami in the Atlantic’s Charming Trivago Film

A New York Couple Revisits Their '60S Honeymoon in Miami in the Atlantic's Charming Trivago Film

Trivago via Atlantic’s Re:Think present an endearing piece as a couple travels down memory lane. BRB planning my Honeymoon sequel.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/20

 

Play Your Heart Out

Wilson – Play your heart out

Roger Federer for Wilson team up with DJ Money Mark creating a musical piece out of the sounds of tennis.

Category: Sports
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/27

 

4 Very Easy Ways To Help Solve Our Bee Crisis

Wedderspoon save the bees

Wedderspoon on Mindbodygreen, discussing bee health and how you can get involved.

Category: Food + Drink
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 7/27

 

Case of the Mondays? How to flip the switch

slack on quartz, tips for a productive monday

Slack on Quartz with tips on how to have better Mondays. I like how every topic, for those interested, has a link to an external, non-branded resource. Guaranteed to increase productivity, like Slack!

Category: Application
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/3

 

If College Movies Were Honest

xfinity on college humor if college movies were honest

Xfinity on College Humor, ‘If College Movies Were Honest’ is a hilarious look at the realities of college.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/3

 

Survey Shows Back to School Shopping Still Mostly Happens in the Store

Staples on Fatherly with survey results

Staples on Fatherly, sharing their survey results, which show that back to school shopping still mostly happens in-store.

Category: Retail
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/10

 

Introducing PlatformX: A First of its kind Platform from Equinox and American Express Platinum

American Express and Equinox present PlatformX

Amex on Equinox’s FurtherMore. Another brand integration with Equinox creating a content hub. Again perfectly aligned to both brands.

Category: Fitness
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/10

 

A Beer-Lover’s Ultimate Summer Friday

Blue Point Brewing Company via Atlas Obscura

Blue Point Brewing Company created a branded experience that turned into content. A smart way of leveraging a PR activity. This Atlas Obscura and Blue Point partnership celebrates summer Fridays with a Friday off, up to the new Blue Point brewing facilities. A good craft beer example.

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/17

 

Scoring the Drive

Land Rover + The Atlantic Re:Think

Land Rover + The Atlantic on Re:Think Scoring the Drive, a beautifully shot piece of the Land Rover with a score by Hans Zimmer. Epic. Definitely put the audio on for this one. Also, the YouTube embed highlights the advantage for YouTube, being able to host and embed the video content – spreads it a lot further.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/24

 

Sonos x Lost At E Minor: Day in the Life of a Creative

Sonos at Lost in E Minor

Sonos x Lost At E Minor: Day in the Life of a Creative, is a campaign that delivered Australia’s first ever Dumb Speaker Amnesty – a digitally lead live activation giving consumers the chance to exchange their old speaker for a brand new Sonos One. The campaign also highlights the lives of several creatives and looks at how they music influences their work.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/24

 

Mercedes-Benz Uses IGTV Platform To Release Branded Short Film

Mercedes-Benz makes a branded short film for IGTV

Bertha Benz: The First Driver is a sentimental look at the genesis of the brand. Simple story, works without audio, emulating the old-timey feel. The piece launched on IGTV, and was also adapted for YouTube and Facebook. A nice early example for IGTV.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 8/24

 

Nike – Dream Crazy

Nike – Dream Crazy with Kaepernick

Nike – Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough. Not news to many readers – but a good reminder, this content couldn’t exist without Nike.

Category: Sports
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/7

 

The World’s Most Creative People Show How to Master Vertical Video

Instagram showcases How to Master Vertical Video

A nativeception! Facebook showcasing how to master vertical video, highlighting some brilliant work in the process.

Category: Media
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/7

 

See how asking “what if?” helps us make the world around you better in ways big and small

3M wonder campaign

Not exactly a native campaign, but an example for great work from 3M. They try to answer the question “What if?”

Category: Retail
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/7

 

The Goods

American Express on Vox: The Goods

Vox launches ‘The Goods by Vox’, presented by Amex. This new sponsored content section focuses on travel, entertainment, home and tech – the four main passion areas of Amex card members, according to Digiday.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/21

 

A Discovery in Patagonia Inspires a New Style of Beer

Heineken on National Geographic about the new wild lager

National Geographic + Heineken, takes the reader on a journey to the untamed reaches of Patagonia to find out how a biologist and master brewer tamed a wild yeast to produce a completely new kind of beer. Can’t wait to try it!

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/21

 

How Grey’s Anatomy Always Stays Relevant Through the Years

popsugar on how grey's anatomy stayed relevant through the years

Pop Sugar outlines the impact Grey’s Anatomy has made, and how it’s managed to stay relevant, as it heads into it’s 15th season.

Category: Entertainment
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/28

 

Three Neighborhoods
in Tokyo Where Old Meets New

Tokyo tourism via T Brand studios

Beautifully created piece by T Brand studios for Tokyo tourism. The combination of text, photo, illustration and links to interactive Google Maps makes this a win, regardless of how you connect to other cities and cultures when planning your travel.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 9/28

 

Q4

 

Driving A Mile in Another Person’s Shoes

Uber on The Atlantic's Re:ThInk

Uber via Re:Think Original, on how Uber develop its newest products and features. For the ride-sharing giant, it’s all about empathy. Love the embedded videos with POV from their team.

Category: Software / Application
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/5

 

The Official UGG Hypebook

ugg partners with complex

To celebrate their 40th birthday, UGG’s released The Official UGG Hypebook on Complex. Brb, getting myself a new pair for this winter.

Category: Retail
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/5

 

Bust Out the Twin Beds: Turns Out ’50s TV Sleep Science Was Sound

Tulo on the Daily Beast

Tulo features an in-depth examination of the sleep habits of 1950’s TV characters on The Daily Beast. Great storytelling and a perfect fit for the the Daily Beast reader, who likes to go deep into a topic and seeks studies and sources that help her better understand. Great work.

Category: Retail
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/12

 

4 Questions You Need to Ask About Media Measurement

Adobe on adweek talking media measurement

Adweek with Adobe exploring the questions media buyers should be thinking about when thinking about the performance of their content.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/19

 

Boomers are doing great things in their communities

Cheerios via Today highlighting some of their Goodness Grant winners

Cheerios on Today.com, wanted to celebrate the many ways Baby Boomers are giving back to their communities and to show how acts of kindness, both large and small, can create a ripple effect of good deeds. To thank these everyday heroes, Cheerios tapped the TODAY Brand Studio to run the first-ever partner contest on TODAY.com, awarding $1000 “Goodness Grants” to selected winners.

Category: Food + Drink
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/19

 

Wu-Tang In Space Eating Impossible™ Sliders

Wu-Tang in space eating impossible burgers

Big fan of this partnership between Wu Tang Clan and Impossible Burger. The low fi aesthetic, they’re clearly just having fun with it.

Category: Food + Drink
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/19

 

The Away Game

Tim Horton's brings Kenya's National Hockey Team to Canada

Tim Hortons: The Away game. There’s only one hockey team in all of Kenya, and they had nobody to play. So, Tim Horton’s brought them to Canada for an unforgettable game. Heart-warming moment!

Category: Food + Drink
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/19

 

State Funding and No Competition: Why Kazakhstan Could Be an Interesting Market for Your Startup

Kazakhtelecom on Techcrunch

Kazakhtelecom on TechCrunch, why Kazakhstan could be an interesting market for your startup. Great placement, good for stakeholders, and driving awareness in front of their key audience.

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 10/26

 

Decoding images from the Golden Record

US Army on The Verge talking about decoding the Golden Records

The US Army with The Verge on decoding the Golden Records that are in space, which hold a ridiculous amount of information based on their capacity. The lead designer on the project explains the instructions for how the extraterrestrials should interpret the contents. This content brings a different lens from the army than you’d normally expect.

Category: Government
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 11/2

 

How Women Won The Midterms – Even When They Lost

house of cards with she runs it

She Should Run on The Atlantic, paid for by Netflix for House of Cards. A great launch ahead of the mid-terms earlier this week, and aligns well with House of Cards’ latest season

Category: Government
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 11/9

 

Booking It: A guide to America’s most unique Accomodations

Mic with Booking.com, highlighting the most unique accommodations around the country. Great through the funnel execution, also an asset that can be used all year round. And/or continuously promoted through an individual piece on each location.

Category: Travel + Tourism
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 11/16

 

Check out 2015, 2016 & 2017 and submit your own work for consideration here.


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