Native Advertising Part 2: The Most Shared Native Ads of Today
The Native Advertising Leaderboard is a collaborative effort between marketing technology providers Sharethrough and SimpleReach that tracks the most shared native ads on social media. A large majority of the most shared ads of today come from list-happy sites BuzzFeed and Cracked.
The Most Shared Native Ads
1 & 2. Mini and Pepsi / BuzzFeed
The two most shared ads are similarly themed lists from Mini (1.3 million shares) and Pepsi (1.0 million) about interesting/odd travel destinations. While these have been heavily shared since they debuted in 2012, the brand connections seem like a bit of a stretch, so it would be interesting to know whether they moved the needle on brand awareness or perception.
3. Harper Collins / BuzzFeed
But Harper Collins’ “17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand” (757,000 shares) provides more of a direct brand tie-in and, notably, was published far more recently than the two front-runners, climbing to the third spot within months. I expect to see this model of branded, industry-related content employed more in the coming months.
17 & 19. Under Armour / Dick’s Sporting Goods
The only ad in the top 25 that isn’t a BuzzFeed or Cracked list is “Tom Brady’s Wicked Accent,” a Funny or Die video that shows Tom Brady shopping for Under Armour in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store before being sidetracked by a weird sales associate who’s captivated by Tom’s (non-existent) Boston accent. While this spot was created specifically with the goal of selling Under Armour and Dick’s Sporting Goods, so it definitely falls under the category of native advertising, it raised a question for me—could product placement be considered native advertising, too?
If BuzzFeed ads are the most shared, won’t everyone just start making BuzzFeed ads this year? Probably. But my guess is that native advertising is also about to get a lot more complicated than that.