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Native advertising may become magic pill for online industry

The Times of India's move not to serve its content to those consumers who have installed ad blockers is indeed a bold move, especially at a time when online consumption of news content is itself in its nascency.

twitter-logoAjita Shashidhar | July 15, 2016 | Updated 07:20 IST

Ajita Shashidhar, Senior Associate Editor, Business Today
The Times of India's move not to serve its content to those consumers who have installed ad blockers is indeed a bold move, especially at a time when online consumption of news content is itself in its nascency.

However, it's not just the news portals but also the host of other online content providers, who need to take a few tough calls in terms of how they serve ads to their consumers. Slow internet connection and high data costs are the two prime reasons why consumers block ads in India. Ads, especially, video ads, consume a lot of data and this coupled with slow speeds proves to be an expensive proposition. "Almost 60 per cent of the digital ads in India are clicked accidentally (the consumers click on them unintentionally) which leads to further annoyance of the consumer. Most of the advertisers aren't seeing ROI, as it is not resulting in action to the ad, " points out Zafar Rais, Founder, Mindshift Interactive, a digital marketing agency.

In a situation like this, the ideal way would probably be to offer an ad-free experience by getting consumers to pay for the content. However, since online content consumption is still in its early days, consumers aren't really open to pay. Therefore, the need of the hour is to serve ads in an non-intrusive manner, which would mean that the ad industry will need to move to native advertising.

Native advertising means blending the ad message into the content. Sameer Pittalwala, CEO, of digital media network, Culture Machine, says that native advertising is becoming popular in the world of digital videos too. "We are creating interesting pieces of content for the advertisers, wherein we blend their brand message, and the consumer doesn't feel that he is watching an ad."

Pittalwala rattles away instances of campaigns his company has created for brands such as Vodafone, CloseUp and Ola, where it has created content around the brands' philosophy.

Digital advertising is poised to be a Rs 7,000-crore industry by the end of 2016, but banner ads and video ads are increasingly losing their efficacy. Therefore, online platform owners have little choice but to look at innovative methods of integrating ads.

Links of some native advertising videos:

Sony Experia C3 Dual:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3GNDR8LCiM

Ola Cabs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlSKXm8UAEw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkBv9CURjaM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFrqXsLNzIw

Close-up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFY_F6Gp3mU

Vodafone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WJkNvtW-XY

 

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