In this article we’re going to take a look at 20 of the best native advertising examples EVER.
The average person is estimated to encounter anything from 6,000 to 10,000 ads per day in 2021.
So it should be no surprise that if you want your ad to stand out then it needs to be pretty special.
Native ads have an advantage over traditional banner ads in that they are more closely matched to the organic content that is being viewed, and therefore more likely to appeal to internet users.
Let’s take a look at 20 of the best native advertising examples ever, so that you can gain some inspiration and make your next ad a great one!
What is native advertising?
Native advertising is sponsored material that blends in with the organic content it appears alongside. Native ads appear natural – and are highly targeted – so they are more likely to appeal to their target audience.
To avoid consumers feeling ‘tricked’, it needs to be made clear that native ads are in fact ads.
This can be done with a small ‘Sponsored’ banner tag next to the content or a small ‘ad’ icon.
Native ads can appear in a number of places and we’ll take a closer look at that as we move through our list of the 20 best native advertising examples ever.
20 of the best native advertising examples EVER
1. Amazon + Pukka
Amazon knows how to get people to buy more. The ecommerce giant was practically the pioneer of online upselling and cross-selling.
In this partnership with Pukka, a native ad shows a selection of relevant products along the top of the product results page.
This ad blends in really well with the rest of the page and yet does not disguise the fact that it’s sponsored content.
2. YouTube + HBO
It seems (at least for now) like YouTube will always be free. It’s the number one place for watching video content and many brands – like HBO Max – now even upload snippets from their TV shows and movies to encourage people to purchase and watch the whole thing.
This native ad for Season 1 of Friends is in the perfect place, and the big blue BUY button is eye-catching enough to make viewers stop and consider purchasing it.
3. eBay + James Wellbeloved
This super-subtle native ad from James Wellbeloved on eBay ticks all the boxes. It appears alongside a related product, it doesn’t detract from the user’s shopping experience, but best of all it includes the text “Buy now on eBay.”
This informs users that they don’t even need to leave eBay to purchase this product. Smart move!
4. Facebook + Beer Hawk
This native ad appears naturally within the Facebook news feed. So users can scroll past it quickly if it doesn’t appeal to them.
The best part about this ad is that it’s a GIF:
This movement really attracts the eye and helps this ad to stand out.
5. Reddit + Huel
This promoted post for Huel Complete Protein is expertly placed in the r/Fitness page on Reddit.
And, not only does it fit in well in terms of subject matter, the look and feel of the ad is almost indistinguishable from the other posts in the thread.
The only feature that gives away the fact this is a native ad is the small grey text ‘Promoted’ in the top left-hand corner of the post.
6. The Guardian + General Mills
The Guardian is a popular and reputable news source, so it’s no wonder a brand like General Mills wanted to partner with them on this sponsored article.
This scrollable piece on regenerative agriculture features eye-catching microinteractions and comes across as an informative page with just a small call-to-action for General Mills at the very end.
At the top of the article is this icon that makes it transparent to readers that this is a native advertisement:
7. Panoply + Purina Pro Plan
It’s not just websites that can take advantage of native advertising! This branded podcast from Purina Pro Plan on the Panoply network is a great example of a native ad that adds lots of value for the people who interact with it.
This one-off 6-part series explored the inner workings of a dog’s brain through the lens of human cognition – pretty fascinating stuff!
8. Forbes + Cognizant
Tech company, Cognizant took advantage of native advertising to create this Forbes article all about the future of the IT industry.
Native ads like this one benefit the brand (by giving them a huge platform), the hosting site (who benefit financially), and readers (by granting them easy access to an in-depth article written by experts).
Like The Guardian example, this too begins with a clear indicator that this is paid content so as not to confuse readers.
This Autotrader ad made the list because it’s SO subtle! And this is exactly the idea behind native advertising.
Native ads should blend in with the existing content and not disrupt the user’s experience in any way.
This ad is a perfect example of that. It looks like every other listing but has a very small “ad” badge above it to inform users that this is a paid-for listing.
Like Amazon, Google has been offering native ads for some time. These ads appear above the organic search results and are signified by a small, non-obtrusive “Ad”.
When there is a shopping intent behind a user’s search, ads are also featured in an easy-to-scroll carousel (as seen above).
11. Gimlet + eBay
This is another branded podcast series between Gimlet and eBay. The podcast – which ran for two seasons – featured insights and advice from small business owners and industry experts, with tips for how listeners could build their own business from the ground up.
It was the first branded podcast that Gimlet ever worked on and it was a success for both companies.
Gimlet made sure to be completely transparent about the fact that this podcast was an advertisement for eBay, including this in all of the show art and also mentioning it several times to listeners throughout the course of each episode.
12. Skyscanner + Visit Portugal
What better place for a travel company’s ad than a flight comparison site? This native ad appears on the homepage so that everyone searching for flights can instantly see this beautiful view and might consider booking a trip to Portugal.
The ad includes more than just an image. There’s information about the country, including which cities to visit, and also important information about the current travel restrictions – something that’s very important to all travellers right now.
13. Walmart + Tasty + Eko
The result of this three-way partnership between Eko, Tasty, and Walmart is a fun interactive video that benefits all brands involved.
The video walks viewers through the steps of making their own meatball dinner – with products provided by Walmart, recipes provided by Tasty, and the whole thing made possible by Eko’s interactivity!
It’s a win-win-win!
14. CA Technologies + The New York Times
This scrollable infographic in The New York Times gave CA Technologies an amazing amount of exposure for their brand.
Paid posts in collaboration with brands that have an incredible reach – like The New York Times and The Guardian – are some of the best examples of native advertising.
These posts always add a lot of value for readers, while at the same time giving brands a platform that they would not otherwise have access to.
15. Netflix + WSJ
When Netflix wanted to promote their new (now, widely successful) show, Narcos, they partnered with the Wall Street Journal to create an interactive portal.
This portal is extremely educational, featuring lots of information about the real life characters and situations that inspired the show.
The information is accompanied by interesting microinteractions, graphics, and video content.
And there’s also a “test your knowledge” section at the end for fans that want to compare their expertise to that of Pablo Escobar.
16. Gatorade + Snapchat
Ahead of the 2016 U.S. Open, Gatorade partnered with Snapchat to create a retro-style game that celebrated each one of Serena Williams’ Grand Slam wins.
The native ad was quite revolutionary for the time and gave Snapchat users a fun in-app gaming experience, while subtly promoting Gatorade.
The game received 160 million impressions on Snapchat and won two Webby Awards (one for Best Use of Native Advertising). The game now lives here if you want to check it out.
17. Seven Seas + The Telegraph
Something everyone could use more of these days is good news! Seven Seas partnered with The Telegraph to create a Good News segment that highlights uplifting, feel-good news stories.
While this native ad doesn’t directly promote any Seven Seas products, it helps readers to form a positive association with the brand.
18. Spotify + Studio Canal
When it comes to “the best” native advertising, it’s all about thinking outside the box. Studio Canal did exactly that when they partnered with Spotify to create a sponsored playlist to promote their latest movie, The Last Letter from your Lover.
The Warm Fuzzy Feeling playlist features love songs that would perfectly complement (and get people in the mood for watching) this romantic drama.
19. Buzzfeed + Purina
Purina seem to really love native advertising as this is their second placement on our list!
In this collaboration with Buzzfeed, this funny, relatable, and adorable video – told from the perspective of a cat – speaks directly to cat lovers and owners everywhere, while also subtly promoting the brand.
It’s an extremely popular video that currently has almost 12 million views!
20. Apartment Therapy + Hulu + The Mindy Project
If you’ve ever spotted something in your favourite TV character’s bedroom and thought “I’d buy one of those!” then you’ll love this native advertising example.
In partnership with Hulu and their hit TV show, The Mindy Project, Apartment Therapy created a shoppable experience that allowed viewers and fans to buy items featured on the show.
Fans could buy items from Mindy’s office, kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, and nursery in order to “get the look!”
The best native ads are the kind that are transparent enough that people know they’re ads, but are also so good that people interact with them anyway. That’s what we feel the 20 native advertising examples in the list have in common.
Want to see more amazing ads?
Check out our list of the 50 Best Commercial Ads of ALL TIME.