Native vs Rich Media Ads EXPLAINED (Just 5 minutes)

Published on
April 11, 2023

Most of the time rich media ads are interactive, meaning that users can engage with the ads via various smartphone features such as the gyro sensor, touch, camera, wallet, calendar, GPS etc. Using these native functionalities a mobile rich media ad can include a video, an image gallery, swipes, comparisons, panorama and 360-degree views, social- or map-implementations, wallet- or calendar-entries and many more. On top of that, all these features can be combined in one ad and there are only few limitations to what can be included. Thus, rich media ads are more attention-grabbing and lead to a better brand recall than static ads.

Through their dynamic style they bring value to users and as a result of that to the advertiser by providing great and highly engaging user experiences, that can be fun, informational and that are also of a very high quality.

Looking at figures and statistics advertisers have more insights with rich media ads than with static ads. In addition to clicks and impressions rich media ads can also track engagements or interactions and can provide information to the advertiser on a very detailed level, whereas with static ads advertisers are limited solely to the singular click.

Some things should be taken into consideration when thinking of using mobile rich media ads however. The ads can be blocked by users relatively easily. Also the production effort, from a cost as well as from a workload perspective, is high. Often the production of an HTML5 ad can take days or sometimes weeks.
Furthermore, rich media ads often have large file sizes and can take some time to download and fully display.

Mobile native ads match the look & feel as well as the function of the media format in which they are displayed. As they look like a natural part of the environment in which they are placed, they are perceived as less disruptive than regular display ads. Mobile native ads can be found a lot on social media but also on all other content in apps or on mobile websites, where they may fit with the look & feel. They appear for example as infeed ads, recommended content or as paid search listings.

To spot native ads, the platforms where they are displayed offer different forms of identifiers such as a simple advertisement-tag, sponsored content, brought to you by, presented by, recommended for you etc., etc.

But don’t mix up native advertising with content advertising. Content advertising such as an advertorial is supposed to match the content and the format, and it needs to be set up by an editorial team. Native Ads on the other hand only match the look & feel of the content in which they can be found, and advertisers are able to buy advertising space programmatically.

But why use native ads? Native ads deliver a much higher engagement level than regular display ads and they lead, especially with millennials, to increased purchases. Because consumers engage with content that peaks their interest whether it is branded or not.

But be careful. Native ads can lead to negative brand awareness. For example, when the created content is poor and doesn’t fit into the surrounding content, or when the ad hides the source of the message too much, the ad may seem deceptive, and users can feel like they are being taken advantage of.

In the end all advertisers need to find the best mix of rich media, native, display, search, etc. that best fits their marketing goals.

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