Native advertising. It’s the talk of the town, the hope of longtime publishers, the holy grail, the patron saint, the best thing since sliced bread.
And now comes Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to say that if Yahoo can leave its past behind, then surely advertisers can, too.
That was Mayer’s admonition to brands and advertisers attending the recent Cannes Lions festivities. While she did some preaching, her marketing team was teaching –spreading the word that Tumblr’s native-styled Sponsored Posts were now open for placement across Yahoo’s properties.
The Tumblr news, naturally, was in sync with the central themes of Mayer’s address. To be blunt, it appears Mayer wants everyone to stop all the hand-wringing over native advertising and embrace its role as an inevitable—and highly effective—form of digital marketing.
“There’s this notion of the Internet with content in the middle and stickers around the edge,” Mayer told the audience at her Cannes presentation, titled “On Users, Brands and Creativity.”
“Native experiences beat their traditional display counterparts in almost every metric,” Mayer told her audience.
And that’s not all. According to Mayer:
- Viewers of native ads are 3.6 times more likely to perform a branded search than viewers of traditional display ads.
- Viewers of native ads are six times more likely to do a related search.
- 46 percent of millennials who noticed branded content say they consumed the content.
- One-third of those millennials shared the branded content.
Yahoo has heretofore offered two kinds of native ad options: image ads and stream ads, which the platform describes as ad units “naturally blending into the content streams viewed by users.”
Yahoo investors certainly hope the social platforms—chiefly Tumblr, which cost $1 billion in May 2013—will prove Mayer correct. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based tech company’s display advertising revenue was moribund at $453 million in Q1 this year after six straight quarters of year-over-year declines.
“When we acquired Tumblr a year ago,” Mayer informed the Cannes audience, “we saw what you probably saw: an unmatched platform for creators and curators We also saw something else: A great platform for brands.”
With many of the world’s top brands in attendance at Cannes, Mayer made sure to highlight some of the marketers she feels are best embracing Yahoo offerings, including Tumblr:
- General Mills’ “Must Be the Honey” Tumblr in the voice of Buzz the Bee.
- GE’s science-focused Tumblr offering which she described as “funny, interesting insights into the future.”
- Hyundai’s #becausefutbol, fanning the flames of fans’ passion for soccer.
- Ford’s “And Is Better” Tumblr about “times when more is more.”
- Lionsgate’s Capitol Couture fashion hub, set in the world of The Hunger Games.