3 Epic Examples of Brands Winning at Native Video Ads

It seems like a lot of people wonder: exactly what is native advertising? The short answer is: native ads are content designed to mimic the environment where it’s located. It blends so well that most people don’t even realize it’s advertorial content. So how does native translate to video?

In the case of native video ads, which can be found on YouTube, Funny Or Die, and many other video sites, they are typically longer than 30 seconds and can entertain and educate at the same time, in contrast to traditional television commercials, which are product-centric examples of push marketing. Why? Because they “push” the content in front of the viewer and try to force them to watch it. Television viewers, especially those with DVRs, have become far too adept at fast-forwarding through commercials or simply taking a break until they are over.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have in-stream video ads, which are developed by creative teams that focus more on a journalistic and research-based approach instead of being centred around sales.

What really propels these editorial-driven videos are powerful storytelling and a great narrative. And, when done correctly, native ads are shared by viewers, have the potential of going viral, and get millions of views.

So what makes a good native video ad? Here’s a hand-picked selection of just some of our all-time favourites.

Child Of The 90s / Microsoft

In the Microsoft YouTube video “Child of the 90s/Internet Explorer,” Microsoft does a wonderful job reminding people what it was like to be a kid in the 90s, from the floppy disk to pet Tamagotchis.

For the first minute and 25 seconds of the video, Microsoft takes you back in time. It’s only at the end when Microsoft offers to have you reconnect with the new Internet Explorer that you realize the real purpose of the ad.

Tom Brady / Under Armour

Another good example of native video ads is the Under Armour comedic skit Tom Brady’s Wicked Accent on the site Funny or Die. It’s a funny, three-minute comedic skit with the Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady. In the video, a salesperson “can’t understand” the NFL star’s “Boston” accent.

The amazing part of this video is that even though you may not realize it, you see the Under Armour logo in the background at least a dozen times. So, while everyone is enjoying a funny video, they’re seeing the Under Armour brand flash up within their awareness.

The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made / Air New Zealand

The most epic safety video ever made features some of the stars from The Hobbit for Air New Zealand. It does a great job of making a mundane airline safety video enjoyable to watch. This video has had over 15.5 million views since it was published in October 2014.

Tips For Making Your Own Native Video Ads

  • Keep your audience’s interests in mind throughout the creation process.
  • People have an attention span of roughly eight seconds. Entertain and educate quickly or you will lose them.
  • Use oversized call to action text that is easy to read on mobile devices.


These are just a few examples of powerful native video ads. Although there are several native ad formats, native video offers a great opportunity to tell a story and entertain quickly within a medium that we all enjoy.

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