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Yahoo Offers Native HD Image Ads and YouTube Makes Takeovers Work on Mobile

Modern display advertising is a balancing act. You need an ad that is “native” enough so it flows seamlessly through the surrounding content without annoying the viewer but at the same time it has to be different enough to pop and grab the viewers attention.

Yahoo and YouTube are both experimenting with some new options that, at a glance, appear to work quite well.

Yahoo Image Ads

Yahoo just launched this new type of ad that fits neatly into the ever-popular slide show. They say the ad “harnesses the beauty of HD images for vivid, personal and emotional brand storytelling.”

I find it funny that they use the word “vivid” then use a softly muted photo as their example.


Nice image though, and it does tell a story. I don’t think the story goes all that well with the “2013 Miss Universe National Costume Show” slideshow, but it’s still a nice image. It also doesn’t scream advertisement, which is the whole point of going “native,” isn’t it? I see happy people about to head out for a fun day together. They live in a hip, urban place on a very steep street – San Francisco maybe – and it all feels warm and cozy. All of this is made possible by Fiat. If you want to live that life and be those people, just click and buy the car.

The new image ads will appear on slideshows on Yahoo Sports, omg!, Yahoo Music, Yahoo TV and more on Web, mobile and tablet. Currently, they are pay per click.

YouTube Takeover Goes Mobile

YouTube homepage takeover ads are a bold statement on the YouTube homepage – way too bold for a tiny smartphone screen. So YouTube was forced to come up with a way to push the takeover out to mobile. They did it by making the advertisement look like. . . wait for it. . . a normal video. Imagine that!

The only noticeable difference is a small, yellow ad icon in the lower corner of the video. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield found this notation a few days ago on a promo for the new Fox series Almost Human. (Great show, by the way.) The ad appeared at the top of his “What to Watch” list.

When it comes to native advertising, you can’t get any more native than a TV promo clip video on YouTube. Networks upload hundreds of these every week for free. For me, seeing a TV promo at the top of my feed is just business as usual.

On a related note, I’ve noticed several new YouTube ads that mockingly challenge viewers to skip or not to skip. I hate to admit it but one of these ads convinced me to stay through to the end with their amusing poke at skippers but I can’t remember what the ad was for so I guess it wasn’t that effective.

How do you feel about ads that challenge viewers to stay through to the end?

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