The Native Advertising Strategies Big Banks Are Using To Get Your Attention

September 30 2016
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When you think of an ad for JPMorgan Chase & Co., the title, "8 Easy Summer Projects for DIY Newbies” probably doesn’t come to mind. This is exactly the point of native advertising. Native, or content advertising aspires "to deliver paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong" [IAB’s Native Advertising Playbook]. You see them daily while you are browsing online, most notably in the form of those “Suggested Posts” at the bottom of the article you’re reading.
 
While you think you may just be upping your DIY game at home, JPMorgan is hoping that you may think about using their card so you can get cash back on your supplies. Crafty, heh?
Recently, the FTC has cracked down on native advertising methods to ensure that the public is aware of what is an ad versus what is an actual piece of editorial information. In an effort to not bombard consumers with ads that may turn them off, native/content ads attempt to supply some valuable information while nonchalantly throwing in a product promotion. Read on to see how big banks like Bank of America, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Lending Tree are using native advertising to get your attention online.
 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Pulls At Your DIY Skills

Since January 1st, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has released 1,816 content creatives using Outbrain as their top partner, serving up 58% of the brand’s impressions. On July 29th, JPMorgan Chase & Co. sponsored an article on Buzzfeed titled, “8 Easy Summer Projects for Total DIY Newbies” to promote their Freedom Unlimited card. The following day, the brand released a series of native creatives to drive traffic to the sponsored Buzzfeed post. The creative below ran until August 21st on buzzfeed.com, the only site JPMorgan ran the campaign on. Once consumers read up on how to spruce up their diggs, they can also learn more information about using the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for cash back. Because if you’re sprucing up your place, you might as well get some cash back too, right?
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Get Married with Merrill Lynch

If you’re wondering if getting married in a romantic locale is the best financial decision, Merrill Lynch, the wealth management division of Bank of America, has the answers. In a native creative run on cbssports.com on February 29th, potential consumers were directed to a Merrill Lynch hosted landing page discussing the potential costs of a destination wedding. With a goal to promote their financial advisors, the posts ends with “3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor” and a call-to-action to “start a conversation.” 
 
Bank of America has run 2,491 native/content creatives since the beginning of the year, with top partner Taboola responsible for 57% of the brand’s impressions. Outbrain followed with 42% impression share.
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Don’t Travel Abroad Without Capital One

While Capital One dominates the Financial Services category across most other channels, the financial institution has only released 177 native/content creatives since January 1st. Fox News is Capital One’s usual preferred native site, garnering 42% of the brand’s native ad impressions, but for a seemingly millennial focused ad they went with a different audience. Seen on July 26th, the ad below ran on gamespot.com (CBS Interactive) and showed a young man taking a selfie with the caption, “Traveling abroad this summer? Read this first.” The brand also ran a similar creative on si.com, both directing users to this landing page discussing foreign transaction fees. Clever way to promote their international credit cards sans foreign transaction fees to consumers planning on going abroad.
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Home Ownership and Lending Tree

The online lending exchange Lending Tree banks big on native advertising, releasing an astounding 54,602 creatives since January 1st. Compared to the 177 released by Capital One, Lending Tree clearly sees an advantage to content advertising in conjunction with ads run across desktop, mobile, and video. In the creative below stating “You’re In For A Big Surprise in 2016 If You Own a Home in Arizona,” users were directed to a landing page titled, “Why Don’t Banks Want Homeowners To Use This Free Government Problem?” The ad ran was released on September 28th and appeared on mediaite.com in an effort to promote their home refinancing services. Multiple calls-to-action are scattered throughout the page to get a free payment estimate and access eligibility. The digitally savvy brand also made a number of creatives, customized by state, to target a wider audience.
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Wells Fargo's Corporate Culture

We have looked at a couple examples with brands targeting your actions or personal plans, but Wells Fargo went a different route promoting their own corporate culture. At first glance, this could be perceived as an ad to promote corporate job opportunities, but it is actually to promote how their “strong culture leads to success for Wells Fargo featured customers." The brand is dealing with a very public scandal concerning phony accounts, and appears to have been making an attempt to showcase that their culture is as strong as ever. The native creative below had a flight date of May 23rd, 2016 and was last seen on June 28th, only on marketwatch.com. The creative directed potential consumers to this landing page with a three chapter read on Wells Fargo’s corporate culture, and even a one-sheet containing a study on how their culture affects their customers. We will see how the brand continues their efforts promoting trust and credibility in the wake of their current challenges.
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About Author

Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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