Being ‘a native’ used to imply being ‘born here’. A native knows the area he/she lives in, speaks the ‘native tongue’, knows the people and its culture. It comes handy when ‘foreigners’ enter the territory and want to know ‘how things are done’, how to speak the language, mingle with its culture. A translation is needed to understand the other tribe.
The same is happening in a fast growing new media sector: native advertising. But it’s not as new as it might sound. In traditional media one could publish ‘advertorials’ that ‘blended in’ with the printed environment. It would try to look the same in typecast and layout so people would read it along with the other editorial content. What’s new with native advertising is the dynamic setting: video, and its creators. Some of these creators (‘channels’) became celebs overnight and have millions of followers. A new communication channel was born and a hence a new way of influencing prospect consumers through ‘influencer marketing’.
Getting these new Youtube and Facebook creators involved in commercial messages is quite a steep task. The successful ones make quite some money by uploading their videos and sharing revenues on the ads that appear before starting (pre-roll), half way when longer (mid-roll) and even post-roll with a ‘call-to-action’. Brands are increasingly trying to make these video producers promote their products as ‘native’ as possible, using the their language and way of doing things. And pay them by the level of followers or views they generate on an average video.
New online industry standards are being installed, trying to keep things transparent by demanding the same warning as in the old days, marking these videos as ‘offered to you by’ or ‘sponsored content’. The new generation of social media consumers won’t bother. They just want to dress, eat, drink and look like their heroes. No matter how much they get paid to look like this ‘native’.