Which Mobile Native Ad Type is Right For You?


Advertisers looking to reach mobile users have several choices when it comes to mobile ad formats. One popular format is the Mobile Native Ad, which is predicted by mobile industry analysts to reach its stride in 2016.

What is a Mobile Native Ad?

A Mobile Native Ad is placed or embedded in a mobile environment or app in such a way that its placement follows the form and function of the app experience and design.

Native ads are often preferred by app owners because the mindful placement of ads that “fit” or “blend into” the app help maintain a high quality user experience and limits disruption, while delivering higher engagement levels than other types of ad formats.

Advertisers can select from among the eight different types of mobile native ad types, depending on specific ad campaign goals:


Advertiser Goal: The Mobile Marketing Association agrees that in-game mobile native ads increase brand awareness, deliver better advertising performance and higher engagement

How it Works: These are truly the star performers of mobile ads. A game player must willingly opt-in to engage with the ad, ensuring a more interested, quality viewer for the advertiser. The ad – typically a Rewarded Video Ad – is delivered at precise moments of game play, and offers a player the opportunity to receive a perk or privilege (e.g., an extra life, game level advancement, coins) in exchange for watching the ad.

In-Feed Social

Advertiser Goal: Build awareness, grow word of mouth, or increase engagement with the brand

How it Works: Ads will appear as “Sponsored Content” within user feeds in the social network channel. Since the social capabilities are built into the ad, users will see friends who have already engaged with or like the brand. Data shows that people are more likely to “like”, interact with a brand, or make a purchase as a result of their friends’ influence and product acceptance within their social circle.

In-Feed Content

Advertiser Goal: To promote interaction and engagement with branded content

How it Works: Media sites and mobile environments delivering a wide array of content (e.g. news, weather, editorial, photo-sharing, music discovery, programming, videos, games, etc.) display ads that are discreetly marked as “Sponsored Content” and designed to aesthetically match other content on their site. The ad will take on the physical characteristics of it surrounding environment so it “blends” into the mobile experience.

For example, imagine a music app showing album cover tiles. The Native Ad may appear among the album covers, in the same size and shape of the other tiles, with the design of the ad in the same creative style as album art.

In-Feed Commerce

Advertiser Goal: Encourage Purchases!

How it Works: Shopping sites displaying products and services for sale will feature the promoted item among the items for sale. The ads will often incorporate the same or similar functionality of the retailer’s items, such as the ability to buy, like or add the promoted item to a wish list.


Advertiser Goal: Help users find your location, discover locations in close proximity, drive foot traffic to brick and mortar location

How it Works: Your business listing will appear within a map and include map functionality such as driving directions, navigation, click to call, and associated listing details such as store hours, business review ratings, etc.

Paid Search

Advertiser Goal: Be relevant when users are searching for related topics, products or services

How it Works: Your Ad appears above or below the organic results from a user search.

Recommendation Widgets

Advertiser Goal: Drive traffic to your content, and be included in the consideration set among content the user is already known to enjoy

How it Works: These “recommended” pieces of content most commonly appear at the end of an article or video the user has just completed. It appears in a section that is often labeled as “Recommended” or “Other Videos You May Enjoy”, “Recommended for You”, etc.

Custom Mobile Native Ads

Advertiser Goal:   For advertisers looking to create a truly unique mobile experience and leverage an offline component

How it Works: Rather than the components of an ad (e.g., title, link, text, image) being assembled via automated technology methods, brands have the opportunity to create their own content with rich visuals, functionality and integrated approach between the mobile environment and brand properties to form a custom sponsorship.


Source: Ad classifications and standards provided by Mobile Marketing Association, 2015


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