There’s no stopping native advertising. It continues to be at the center of discussion for advertisers and publishers alike. As projections for native ad spend continue to grow, I think we’ll look back at 2014 as the year native transformed from a buzzword into a serious advertising strategy.
AdExchanger’s Sarah Sluis does a great job of recapping the year that was. From major publishing announcements about new native offerings, to native finally moving being bought programmatically (plug!), it was a monumental year.
I do believe she missed one major highlight for native in 2014. The time native advertising hit mainstream with a lengthy feature about it on HBO. This past summer, comedian and television host John Oliver devoted 11 minutes to the topic of native advertising on his weekly show Last Week Tonight. That was roughly 3 times longer than he devoted to talking about Obama or the Middle East crisis. Now he was not singing the praises of native, but instead making very valid points about transparency and disclosure. Important issues that everyone needs to follow.
Whether you think this was good or bad for native, the fact of the matter is that native advertising, a term no one outside of the industry has any clue about, was brought into the popular lexicon. And that is a monumental milestone for native advertising in 2014.