the best native advertising examples of 2020
the best native advertising examples of 2020

It’s 2020, and now native is often also referred to as sponsored, custom, paid, and branded content.

The native advertising campaigns featured in this article are the best promotional pieces of 2020.

Each week, we handpick extraordinary content campaigns. These are then featured in This Week in Native Ads (if you’re not a subscriber, sign up here), which automatically gets you considered for the best ads of 2020.

Submit your own work for consideration for 2020, here.

We’ve been highlighting the best native ads for a number of years – so, if you want to draw on inspiration from the best work from previous years, you can do so here: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

Also visit Intel by Nudge, a free platform, which has all of the world’s branded content organized in one place. Simply search for whatever brand’s content you’d like to see, and off you go.

Summary of the best ads of 2020

 

Use your tax smarts

branded content by ishares on wsj

iShares partners with WSJ to de-mystify the benefits of ETFs, as narrated by Sasheer Zamata. Simple, easy, accessible. You only tune in if you want to learn more.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/9
 

A shoemaker’s exploration of craft – part 2

branded content by Autograph Collection Hotels on The New Yorker

Autograph Collection Hotels tells the story of a guest’s experience through Mickey Ashmore, founder of handcrafted leather shoe company Sabah. A bit cheesy midway but gets back on track. Nice mention of Yaletown Gin.

Category: Hospitality
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/9
 

Solve it

Branded content by J.P. Morgan Asset Management

J.P. Morgan Asset Management on CNBC with a content series called “Solve It”, where they cover investment topics that range from bonds to yield, retirement to public vs. private markets, and beyond.

Category: Finance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/17
 

We want someone to believe in

branded content by Netflix

Netflix on The Atlantic with a piece that pushes off of their latest show series, called Messiah. In this article they ask ‘if a Messiah-like figure appeared today, would you follow him?’. An intriguing, thought-provoking, and well-executed article, which ends up putting the onus back on you, the reader, stating that when charismatic leaders rise to power, it says more about us than it does about them.

Category: Entertainment
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/17
 

50 is the new 35: Looking back at Adidas’s most important sneaker collaboration

Branded content by Adidas

Adidas on Highsnobiety celebrates the 50th anniversary of their second most popular shoe, and their most important sneaker collaboration, by sharing its long and convoluted history. An excellent piece of content that really shows how much Adidas’s brand has shaped pop-culture as we’ve come to know it. Can someone get their hands on the pair from the ’70s? Asking for a friend…

Category: Retail
Featured in:
This Week in Native Ads 1/17
 

Epic wildlife encounters

South Africa-nationalgeographic.com-branded-native-content-9675

Bringing the vivid colors of South Africa with these community contributed photos on NatGeo.

Category: Travel
Featured in:
This Week in Native Ads 1/24
 

How New York city speakeasies changed American culture forever

jameson-partners.vice.com-branded-native-content-975

Jameson dives into How the New York City Speakeasies changed American Culture in this partnership with Vice.

Category: Alcohol
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 1/24
 

How do we live without clean drinking water?

branded content by Watergen on WSJ

Watergen on WSJ with an eye-opening and highly educational piece, ’How Do We Live Without Clean Drinking Water?’

Category: Technology
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/7
 

Future and 1800 Tequila Release Documentary on the Making of 1800 Seconds Vol. 2

Branded content by Future and 1800 Tequila on Pitchfork

Future + 1800 on Pitchfork released a documentary on the Making of 1800 Seconds. It’s good.

Category: Entertainment/Alcohol
Featured in:
This Week in Native Ads 2/7
 

7 Spots to Strike Explorer’s Gold

Filson-atlasobscura.com-branded-native-content-4437

Filson on Atlas Obscura: ‘7 Spots to Strike Explorer’s Gold’. In this piece, you follow the footsteps of 100,000 prospectors to Klondike Gold Rush spots in the Yukon. Who hasn’t dreamed of stumbling across a big pot of gold!

Category: Retail
Featured in:
This Week in Native Ads 2/14
 

We Set This Couple A Valentine’s Day Challenge To Find Out How Well They *Really* Know Each Other

Pandora-bustle.com-branded-native-content-3824

Pandora on Bustle: ‘We set this couple a Valentine’s Day challenge to find out how well they *really* know each other’. A fun and interactive piece, which finishes with some gift ideas from Pandora – a nice tie in.

Category: Jewellery
Featured in:
This Week in Native Ads 2/14
 

“Slow Burn” and the Art of Scandal

Epix-The2520New2520Yorker-branded-native-content-9034

Epix on The New Yorker with “Slow Burn” and the Art of Scandal. A piece pushing off of Epix’s new docuseries, exploring the experience of living through Watergate, helps contextualize our current moment. Eagle-eyed readers may pick out the New Yorker recommendation unit at the bottom – which only recommends branded content. Genius distribution ha.

Category: Entertainment
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 2/28
 

Going Greece: Why This Epic Destination Should Be Your Next Vacation


Conde Nast Traveler demonstrates why it is Conde Nast Traveler with this piece on Greece. Simple to the point.

Category: Travel
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/6
 

A Photo Diary of Berlin with Gucci’s Tennis 1977 Sneaker

Highsnobiety’s partnership with Gucci is great, the one exception, their ad server is serving ads for the competition. An easy fix.

Category: Fashion
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/6
 

It’s 2020. Why Are We Still Working in Offices?

HP on VICE, ‘It’s 2020. Why Are We Still Working in Offices?’ – a piece that was clearly created before the pandemic, but still rings true. At the moment of writing, we are the case study.

Category: Electronics
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 3/27
 

Uncertain Economic Times Lie Ahead. Are Your Strategic Priorities Clear?

The Atlantic with fast to market content on re-evaluating your strategic priorities with PWC.

Category: Financial Services
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/3
 

Zone Cleaning Is The Tidying Method That Will Simplify Your Life

Bustle also fast to adjust with this piece on zone cleaning, how to keep yourself sane and the house clean.

Category: Consumer Goods
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/3
 

Predictions | State Farm® + ESPN Commercial (featuring Kenny Mayne)

The ESPN State Farm ad during the Michael Jordan ‘The Last Dance’.

Category: Insurance
Featured in: This Week in Native Ads 4/24
 

Here’s how much you need to put in a 529 savings plan every month to have $100,000 for your child’s college

Acorns with CNBC, Here’s how much you need to put in a 529 savings plan every month to have $100,000 for your child’s college.

Category: Fin-tech
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Weird Earnings 5/1
 

The Stewards of Stimulus

Branded content by EY on CNBC

EY on CNBC – with a significant multi-episode partnership. Focused on the new now. The Stewards of Stimulus is a good one to start with.

Category: Consulting & strategy
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Brand Balance Sheets, 5/8
 

10 Strangers Having Their First Online Dating Experience

Just Eat UK with LadBible

10 strangers having their first online dating experience, brought to you by Just Eat UK and LADbible.

Category: Food
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, The Howard Stern move
 

A New Vision for Plastic

Veolia on NYT shares a new vision for plastic.

Category: Resource management & sustainability
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, George Floyd Response
 

Piaget’s Extraordinary Women

Piaget on FT with stories from extraordinary women. Women that are combatting old-fashioned attitudes in order to break through the glass ceilings and become successful in their chosen fields.

Category: Watches & jewellery
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, George Floyd Response
 

Gaming for the World

Esports Federation on WSJ with Gaming for the World. By joining Gamers Without Borders, the world’s best esports players raise funds for major charities supporting the global Covid-19 effort.

Category: Esports
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, George Floyd Response
 

How to make the direct sales process easier and quicker

branded content by brandverge on adage

[Nativeception – native for a native company] Brandverge on AdAge on how to make the direct sales process easier and quicker.

Category: Native
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Facebook illicit drugs
 

Uncover Antarctica

Uncover Antarctica by National Geographic with Oppo.

Category: Consumer electronics
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Facebook illicit drugs
 

Connected Cows

BBC StoryWorks and Cisco

Connected Cows by BBC StoryWorks and Cisco. How 5G is powering the rural connectivity revolution, one farm at a time.

Category: Technology
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, On edutainment
 

New findings: Mid-pandemic, empathetic marketers are outperforming everyone else

Sharethrough on Digiday with the seven messaging strategies that have performed best in the wake of COVID-19.

Category: Native
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, On edutainment
 

How TikTok flips the script in digital advertising

TikTok on Campaign. How TikTok flips the script in digital advertising.

Category: Social
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, 231 tonnes of Gold
 

This Is How KFC Has Changed Since Lockdown

Branded content by KFC on LadBible

This is how KFC has changed since lockdown. KFC in partnership with LADbible.

Category: Food
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Bold Parterships
 

Why better measurement is the secret to proactive branding

Branded content by Lucid on Adage

Lucid on Adage, Why better measurement is the secret to proactive branding.

Category: B2B/Tech
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Snap Snap
 

Is Seeing Believing Or… Deceiving?

Peacock TV on Vox

Is Seeing Believing Or… Deceiving? PeacockTV on Vox.

Category: OTT/Streaming
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Snap Snap
 

Leveraging Customer Data and Traveler Insights to Drive Covid-19 Recovery

Branded content by ICF Next on Skift

ICF Next on Skift, Leveraging Customer Data and Traveler Insights to Drive Covid-19 Recovery.

Category: B2B
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Snap Snap
 

The Pandemic’s Hidden Victims

Branded Content by Alzheimer's Association on The Atlantic

The Pandemic’s Hidden Victims. An important piece by The Alzheimer’s Association and Atlantic Re:think.

Category: Charity
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Snap Snap
 

Shaping the digital battlespace

Branded content by Booz Allen Hamilton on Politico

Shaping the digital battlespace. Booz Allen Hamilton on Politico.

Category: IT
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Antitrust
 

Chasing a ghost

Branded content by HBO on The Atlantic

HBO on The Atlantic with a great piece that shines a light on new TV show ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’.

Category: TV
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Antitrust
 

A salute to the early risers

Branded content by Buffalo Bills on The Player’s Tribune

Buffalo Bills on The Player’s Tribute with a salute to the early risers.

Category: Sports
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Antitrust
 

An Ode to New York This Summer

Branded content by City of New York on The New York Times

An Ode to New York This Summer by the City of NYC on NYT.

Category: Government
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Hydra
 

T presents: 15 creative women for our time

Branded content by Adobe on The New York Times

Adobe on NYT with T presents: 15 creative women for our time.

Category: Tech
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Content is king
 

No, your phone isn’t ‘listening’ to you — but it’s probably tracking you

Branded content by Firefox on Upworthy

Firefox on Upworthy with No, your phone isn’t ‘listening’ to you — but it’s probably tracking you.

Category: Web Browser
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Content is king
 

How to build your ultimate back-to-school battle station

Branded content by MSI on The Verge

MSI on The Verge with How to build your ultimate back-to-school battle station.

Category: Hardware/Gaming
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Content is king
 

Hanging out with

Branded content by Samsung on Elite Daily

Samsung on Elite Daily with Hanging out with.

Category: Hardware
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Content is king
 

Mustang Mach-E First Edition

Ford on UncrateFord drops a car with Uncrate.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Consumer experience
 

Disclosure at Plitvice Lakes National Park, in Croatia for Cercle

Amazon Music with Cercle, hosting Disclosure at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. A great set to put on Friday afternoon as you close out the week. Cheers Amazon.

Category: Music / E-commerce
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Shiny Toys
 

Medecision: Transforming Healthcare in the Age of the Coronavirus

WSJ + Atlassian

WSJ + Atlassian, Transforming Healthcare in the Age of the Coronavirus.

Category: Software
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Shiny Toys

 

Financial Advisors Swap Insights on Tough Client Questions

Vanguard on NYT

Vanguard on NYT, Financial Advisors Swap Insights on Tough Client Questions. A good, educational piece.

Category: Financial services
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, 300th Edition

 

9 Ways to Kill Germs Around the House

3M with Good House Keeping

3M with Good House Keeping, 9 Ways to Kill Germs Around the House.

Category: Consumer goods
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Advertising fortitude

 

Adobe is betting on the CMO and CIO partnership

Adobe with TechCrunch

Adobe is betting on the CMO and CIO partnership. Adobe in partnership with TechCrunch Brand Studio.

Category: Software
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, U.S. vs Google

 

Brands are rethinking content strategies to make personalization pay off

Branded content by Sitecore + Digiday

Brands are rethinking content strategies to make personalization pay off. A partnership between Sitecore and Digiday.

Category: Software
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Tentpoles and content

 

Waves of change

Allbirds on Highsnobiety

Allbirds on Highsnobiety, with Waves of change. A great piece that facilitates a critical conversation around sustainability in fashion, in a push towards real change.

Category: Retail
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Tentpoles and content

 

We asked big-time creatives what’s on their flash drives right now

Branded content by Samsung on G/O Media Studios

Samsung on G/O Media Studios, where they asked big-time creatives what’s on their flash drives right now. A fun and lighthearted piece.

Category: Hardware
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, TV revolution

 

Into the wild: we put Jack Wolfskin’s latest gear to the test

Branded content by Jack Wolfskin on Highsnobiety

Jack Wolfskin on Highsnobiety with Into the wild: we put Jack Wolfskin’s latest gear to the test.

Category: Retail
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Podcast peak?

 

Honoring the brave

USAA with The Players' Tribune

USAA on The Players’ Tribune, Honoring the Brave.

Category: Financial services
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Podcast peak?

 

Air Mail collaboration

AirMail is doing a brand collaboration with Stubbs and Wootton. Content + Commerce.

Air Mail (the email newsletter) is doing a brand collaboration with Stubbs and Wootton. Content + Commerce.

Category: Newsletter
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Substackerati

 

Inside Mastercard’s digital experiences, LGBTQ+ work, and adventures in sonic branding

Branded content by SalesForce + Muse by CLIO

SalesForce + Muse by CLIO, speaking with Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar. These are a win for SalesForce, distribution + building relationships with key partners or prospects.

Category: Software
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Substackerati

 

John Mayer goes outside

Branded content on The Atlantic by Range Rover

The Atlantic + Range Rover partnered with John Mayer to inspire people to get outside.

Category: Automotive
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Creator Economy

 

How publishers and brands are reimagining video on Twitter

Branded content by Twitter on Digiday

How publishers and brands are reimagining video on Twitter. Interview with the client really brings the pitch across.

Category: Social media
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, Creator Economy

 

The Drop in with Cameo CEO Steven Galanis

Branded content by Dropbox and Cameo

Drop In with DropBox, Wired Brand Lab, and Guy Raz. Chatting with entrepreneurs and business leaders on how they’re adapting.

Category: Software
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, 46 States

 

Podcast: Are we drowning in premium TV streaming platforms?

Branded content by Barclays with Broadcast network

Barclays with Broadcast network, talking are we drowning in premium TV streaming platforms or spoilt for choice?

Category: Financial services
Featured in: Nudge newsletter, 46 States


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