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The 10 Best Examples of Native Advertising on a Small Budget in 2024 [so far]

By Alexander Højfeldt Lund on May 1, 2024

Native advertising has long been celebrated for its effectiveness in seamlessly blending with publisher content, engaging audiences without the intrusive feel of traditional ads   

In further contrast to traditional ads which often are fueled by big budgets, successful native advertising campaigns on small budgets are much more prevalent. When it comes to native advertising numerous brands have demonstrated that creativity and strategic placement often trump hefty spending.    

This article explores the 10 best examples of native advertising in 2024 [so far] executed on modest budgets. These cases highlight how brands have maximized return, enhanced audience engagement, and boosted brand awareness, all while keeping a tight rein on spending.    

Whether you’re a small startup or a company looking to experiment with cost-effective marketing strategies, these examples show how native advertising can deliver significant impact, even with limited financial resources.

10 Best Examples of Native Advertising on a Small Budget in 2024 [clickable table of contents]

Example 1: Seznam Brand Studio and Renault

Example 2: Readpeak and Diabetesforeningen

Example 3: Stuff Content Studio and Triton Hearing

Example 4: Amedia Innholdsbyrå and Lumene

Example 5: Sanoma Media Finland and Xplora

Example 6: 24sata and LIDL

Example 7: Immediate Media Co., BBC Good Food and Hellmann’s

Example 8: Content Studio CNC and Mixa

Example 9: ELLE and Stronger

Example 10: Omni/Klart and 1628 Brännewijn

Example 1: Seznam Brand Studio and Renault

The collaboration between Seznam Brand Studio and car brand Renault is almost like a fairy tale.    

Renault faced a significant challenge in the Czech market, where competitor Skoda dominates and Renault doesn't even rank among the top 10 best-selling car brands.    

For its new model, the Renault Austral, the company created a high-production TV spot centred around the theme of pure imagination. Seznam Brand Studio’s task was to extend and adapt this concept for an online audience, working within tight time and budget constraints. 

The objective was to create a small-budget campaign to increase awareness of the brand-new Renault Austral and raise the brand’s favourability among the target audience.

To do this Seznam Brand Studio wanted to create a campaign unlike any other in the automotive industry. This led to the idea of "Fairy Tales for the Car," designed to entertain children and be pleasant for parents to listen to during the car ride. 

The fairy tales delivered a 12 percentage point increase in overall awareness for the Renault Austral. However, most importantly, they delivered an increase in positive associations with the Renault Austral model by 17 percentage points. This was a phenomenal success compared to all other supporting activities in the Czech Republic. Almost every third fairy tale listener states that the Renault Austral caught their interest.

The campaign results clearly show that fairy tales are not only loved by users but also a highly effective format.

Example 2: Readpeak and Diabetesforeningen

In Denmark, 322,000 people are currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - a number expected to reach half a million by 2030. 

With disabling and life-threatening complications in tow, diabetes is a silent health catastrophe that has significant consequences for individuals and society if not addressed in time.

Diabetesforeningen (The Diabetes Association) is a Danish NGO and patient organization dedicated to fighting diabetes, raising awareness, early detection, and prevention. To drive their mission forward, they embarked on a national-scale marketing campaign to encourage the Danish population to take an online risk test to assess their likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The Diabetes Association has communicated effectively for many years. However, considering the magnitude of the problem and a limited budget, the boundaries in communication and media execution had to be pushed to succeed.

The insight - everyone can develop type 2 diabetes - was turned on its head by asking the question: What else can Danes - or large groups in the population - rally around? Love of cute kittens, for example. Or sweet puppies. 

If all Danes potentially are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, then all dog lovers in Denmark are too.

With creative approaches like "Do you love puppies?" "Then you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Test your risk here," the campaign created attention, urgency, and guidance compressed into an effective creative formula that delivered impressive results - and a little smile - in an otherwise serious matter.

Last, but certainly not least, the most important result was that the campaign changed 311 people’s lives. 62 people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes were diagnosed and 249 became aware that they had prediabetes. This has allowed them to receive the appropriate treatment, which improves quality of life and reduces the risk of serious complications and premature death.

Example 3: Stuff Content Studio and Triton Hearing

One in six New Zealanders have a hearing loss of some degree - usually developing gradually with age. But there are several barriers for Kiwis around life-changing hearing devices including pricing, misconceptions about how they look and feel, confusion about what hearing loss entails, and social stigma. 

A fresh and creative storytelling perspective was needed to gain cut-through and resonate with multi-generational New Zealanders. 

Triton Hearing - a leading hearing device provider in New Zealand - wanted to reframe the conversation about hearing loss and help Kiwis reconnect with their world and their loved ones by providing gift vouchers for hearing tests. Stuff Content Studio’s task was to use creatively compelling content to drive category growth and generate sales by encouraging the audio-impaired to book a test.

On a limited budget, Stuff Content Studio managed to bring to life what hearing loss is like in a unique and disruptive way.

At the heart of the campaign was an innovative audio experience. The ‘Kiwi Sounds of Summer’ quiz illustrated what it’s like to have hearing loss. Embedded in a short digital article, the timed quiz included iconic summer sounds like splashing at the pool, waves lapping on the beach, and new bikes being ridden. At first, the quiz seemed easy, but the experience would suddenly be disrupted. 

Some audio was cut out, other sounds were barely audible, others were indistinguishable from similar sounds, and some questions included muffling or high-pitched whines - all early signs of hearing loss.

The audio quiz blew all expectations out of the water showing that big budgets are not necessary for hugely successful campaigns. A solid creative idea can resonate no matter the spend. 

Example 4: Amedia Innholdsbyrå and Lumene

Lumene is a Nordic beauty brand on a mission to offer high-performance Nordic beauty for a better future. Founded in Finland in 1970, they’re a market leader in the Finish beauty market. In Sweden, their CC cream is one of the most sold foundations. 

Lumene wanted to position themselves in the Norwegian market too, and get their CC cream into the homes and beauty routines of Norwegian women. To do this Amedia Innholdsbyrå and Lumene set about increasing awareness, brand consideration, brand preference and purchase intention.

The creative idea behind the campaign was to simply tell captivating stories through native advertising to increase brand awareness, brand consideration, brand preference and purchase intention. 

Make-up artist and Lumene ambassador, Fanny Lagerwall, was interviewed and she shared her best tips for how to apply foundation using Lumene’s CC cream. This was followed up by a tactical product article allowing the readers to learn even more about Lumene’s beauty products and how to use them. The readers also got the opportunity to order a free product sample delivered to their door making sure that Lumene’s CC cream found its way into Norwegian women’s homes.

The campaign was a great success thanks to the ability to test and try new formats and add product sampling to native advertising.

Example 5: Sanoma Media Finland and Xplora

Sometimes the world can feel like a scary place, especially for parents whose children are starting to explore it on their own. While parents must allow their children to find independence, they also want to ensure their safety.

That's where Xplora comes in. Xplora is a mobile company that focuses on devices for children. They specialize in watch phones designed to be a child’s first mobile device, providing the best elements of mobile phones without the potential threats associated with smartphones.

Xplora’s mission is to prolong childhood in a world that pressures kids to grow up too quickly, aiming to give kids and parents more quality time together without the distractions of screens. They believe that time spent on screens is time away from being present with each other.

Xplora wanted to raise awareness of the effects of smartphones on children and introduce a safer alternative. The campaign's goal was to communicate this message while generating brand awareness and positioning Xplora as the top choice.

The creative focus was on building engaging content that would leave a strong impression on the reader while maintaining a trustworthy tone and a positive overall feel.

The native article discusses topics such as how kids use mobile devices, the effects of these devices and internet usage, as well as concerns about safety in both the real and digital worlds.

Moreover, the content highlights the positive aspects and skills that traditional childhood activities foster. Neuropsychologist Tuomo Aro was featured as the main voice in the article, providing expert insights into children’s development and the associated challenges today.

The content was constructed around independent expert opinions to ensure relevance and informativeness for parents. 

Additionally, two independent studies were cited to add credibility and present an objective perspective on children and screen use. Traditional corporate marketing messages were completely omitted, allowing readers to form their own opinions based on the facts presented.

This campaign demonstrates that you don’t need a large budget to achieve significant results. Well-planned, evergreen content is sufficient to deliver outstanding outcomes.

Example 6: 24sata and LIDL

Croatian traditional retail brands predominantly engage in television or display advertising campaigns. However, they are less inclined to undertake native projects or entirely video-based campaigns. In contrast, LIDL aimed to transition from traditional advertising to a digital/video approach to promote its "Okusi zavičaja" (Taste of Home) brand. Celebrating its 10th anniversary with refreshed branding, "Okusi zavičaja" features products from across Croatia, from the hills of Zagorje to the Adriatic Sea and the Slavonic plains.

Recognized as the preferred grocery shopping destination by the younger generation (Coolest Brands Awards survey 2023, IPSOS for JoomBoos), LIDL's campaign targeted this demographic. The goal was to acquaint them with the journey of local products from creation to consumption, highlighting the dedication of small producers. The campaign was structured around a video series featuring Generation Z influencers. It promoted rural life, aiming to break stereotypes and showcase the countryside as a place of future potential and a different quality of life.

The series was filmed in the northern Croatian region of Međimurje, where influencers, along with a host, immersed themselves in rural life. They tackled daily tasks like wood chopping and bread making, guided by locals. The use of "Okusi zavičaja" products in challenges underscored the brand's connection to the content, blending authenticity with humour and relaxation, appealing to Generation Z's preferences.

This competition-based reality show, "JoomBoos in the countryside," positioned influencers in unfamiliar settings, juxtaposing their usual glamorous lifestyles with the rigours of farm work. Throughout five episodes, they competed in various farming tasks, accumulating points and winning prizes from the "Taste of Home" range.

The promotional campaign kicked off with teasers that sparked curiosity, featuring influencers in unconventional rural activities, and continued to build excitement throughout the series. This initiative not only changed perceptions but also strengthened community bonds, proving the power of integrating fun, hard work, and a fresh view of life in the countryside.

Example 7: Immediate Media Co., BBC Good Food and Hellmann’s

Condiment manufacturer Hellmann’s partnered with BBC Good Food to align their products with key summer events and occasions. Their goal was to further establish their products as the prominent choice for popular summer recipes. Hellmann’s sought to leverage BBC Good Food’s highly engaged audiences and trusted brand voice by positioning their products as an essential ingredient for popular summer recipes on the BBC Good Food site. 

The overarching objective for this partnership was to reinforce brand consideration during key seasonal moments, increase consumer engagement, and to overall encourage them to purchase Hellmann’s products. The campaign aimed to integrate Hellmann’s into BBC Good Food through an engaging content partnership, including sponsored recipes and social media amplification to showcase the use of Hellmann’s products across high-ranking BBC Good Food recipes. 

Hellmann's partnered with Immediate Media Co. to leverage the actively involved audience of BBC Good Food to solidify their position as a prominent brand and essential component in the creation of consumers' favourite summer recipes. This presented an opportunity to create a strong alignment between the brand and the most successful recipes on the site.

“Easy Coronation Chicken” recipe is top ranking when searched in Google and has a consistently high performance of page views throughout the year. This recipe inherently relies on mayonnaise as a key ingredient. As Hellmann’s desired to be placed at the forefront of summer recipe activity, their sponsorship of the “Easy Coronation Chicken” ran during the contextually relevant period of King Charles' Coronation. This had a profound impact on the efficiency of the campaign and the overall results. 

This provided Hellmann’s with seamless integration into the BBC Good Food culinary expertise and recipe creation process, therefore, boosting their brand awareness across Good Food audiences, and synergy with a key British recipe across a widely celebrated national holiday.

The campaign resulted in a robust association with the brand, a high level of alignment with the featured recipe and a strong willingness among the audience to purchase Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Example 8: Content Studio CNC and Mixa

In the autumn of 2023, Mixa (part of the L'Oréal group) approached Content Studio CNC seeking a promotional strategy for their new line of dry skin care products. 

The collaboration resulted in a comprehensive cross-media campaign, launching in early winter 2023 when dry skin issues are most prevalent. The campaign, themed "The body is your best friend. Make a nice relationship with it," was hosted on a native microsite and rolled out across the Czech News Center’s digital platforms, aligning the media's audience with Mixa's target consumers.

The campaign was strategically timed to coincide with the beginning of winter when cold weather exacerbates skin dryness due to cold wind, humidity, and lack of sunshine. This period also aligns with holiday shopping, making it an ideal time for promoting Mixa’s skin care products, a popular gift category. Content Studio CNC, part of the Czech News Center and one of the strongest in the Czech Republic, leveraged its extensive reach to engage the desired demographic effectively.

At the heart of the campaign was the native microsite, which educated women on common skincare mistakes and encouraged healthier self-relationship and self-care practices that enhance both physical and mental well-being. Addressing societal pressures faced by women, the campaign motivated them to heed their body's signals and cultivate confidence and comfort in their skin.

The microsite was divided into four engaging chapters, each focusing on different skin care challenges. Interactive elements like carousels, motion graphics, quizzes, and highlighted information enriched the user experience. The design featured pastel tones that aligned with Mixa’s brand identity, reinforcing positive brand association through the use of playful graphics and textured backgrounds relevant to each chapter’s content.

This targeted approach helped identify which skincare topics resonated most with the target audience, such as skin aging, safe shaving of intimate areas, and proper care of clogged pores. 

This confirmed that addressing the real concerns of the readers is key to a successful campaign.

Example 9: ELLE and Stronger

In collaboration with ELLE, activewear producer Stronger aimed to establish its brand more firmly in Sweden and reach a new consumer segment. 

The campaign targeted women aged 25-35 who lead or aspire to an active lifestyle. 

The objective was to position Stronger as a contemporary and trendy brand, showcasing their leggings' versatility for a fashion-conscious demographic that values mid-premium quality over price sensitivity.

To achieve this, a fashion campaign featuring stylist, model, and ELLE personality Amanda Persson was launched. Amanda Persson both a trendy stylist and model was ideally suited for the campaign’s lead role.

The campaign included a spread in ELLE magazine and a digital native article on ELLE, a leading global voice in fashion, helped convey Stronger’s brand values to an untapped and challenging audience. Amanda Persson styled the fashion feature, focusing on Stronger's leggings to enhance credibility and create a personal, authentic feel. The campaign’s reach was also expanded by launching a micro-influencer initiative with a similar theme.

The strategy utilized ELLE's brand and Amanda Persson's profile to elevate Stronger in a fashion context, effectively reaching the target audience. The micro-influencer campaign engaged seven creators to generate and share content under the theme "24 hours in leggings."

The content aimed to show how leggings can be styled for various daily activities, encouraging women to embrace an active lifestyle where leggings seamlessly integrate into their routines.

The content was well-received across all channels by the target audience. The extended read time on the native article and high social media engagement confirms the audience's acceptance of the content. 

Example 10: Omni/Klart and 1628 Brännewijn

Vasaskeppet, a royal warship, sank on its maiden voyage in the Stockholm archipelago and was rediscovered 333 years later. A single tin bottle containing liquor was found intact on board. 

This bottle was salvaged, and a small amount of its contents was given to Daniel Borg, Chief Blender at 1628 Brännewijn AB. After thorough analysis and research into Swedish distillation techniques from the 1600s, Borg successfully recreated the strong liquor, naming it after the ship and the year it sank — "Vasa 1628." 

This historically inspired Swedish liquor is now once again available to the public.

The campaign’s primary goal was to market "Vasa 1628" and convert readers of the Swedish news site Omni and weather site into buyers - and doing so with minimal investment. 

The campaign highlighted the intriguing backstory of "Vasa 1628" while adhering to Sweden's strict alcohol marketing regulations.

The narrative was crafted to include historical facts that engage readers while focusing on the spirit’s aroma and taste and information on purchasing through Systembolaget (Swedish government-controlled liquor stores). These elements were carefully balanced within the legal limits, maintaining the unique selling points critical for product sales. 

The article was published on Omni, rotating across different native areas for maximum exposure, and on in a prominent native area to ensure broad reach.

The campaign resonated exceptionally well with Omni's audience. Despite the stringent constraints imposed by Swedish alcohol marketing regulations, the campaign was a success, proving that content relevance can drive significant results without extensive monetary investment.