Yahoo Style Takes a Splash at Native Advertising

Yahoo Style, which debuted earlier this week in conjunction with New York Fashion Week, has the look of a glossy print magazine right down to its advertising. But the new digital publication, which falls into Yahoo’s recently launched online magazine family, offers readers and advertisers alike so much more.

Aside from introducing a new channel for exploring pop culture, fashion, and style, the new digital magazine will offer native opportunities via its “Splash Ads.” These will be optimized for different platforms and will allow brands to integrate their ads onto the page in a way that fits in with the publication’s overall design.

Brands including Neiman Marcus and Tory Burch are the launch sponsors of Yahoo Style and their Splash Ads are displayed prominently amid such editorial content as the best black boots for fall. Old Navy, too, shares fashion style tips and has other native advertising spots across the site.

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“Yahoo Style’s visual appeal and focus on fashion are undoubtedly the two biggest draws for consumers, so Yahoo’s smart to keep its advertisers industry-specific,” says Tessa Wegert, communications director at Enlighten, a digital agency based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

One concern that Wegert points out, however, is the labeling of the Splash Ads. The word “Sponsored” is so small that it’s easy for readers to overlook, she notes, adding that they may be oblivious to the difference between editorial and paid content.

“But if the ads themselves deliver value and visual appeal, site users may not mind,” Wegert says.

Headed by former Elle editor-in-chief Joe Zee, Yahoo Style is the latest push by Silicon Valley-based Yahoo to be seen as an Internet Age media company with more in-depth Web content and greater online ad opportunities. At the heart of this leap is native advertising.

At the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held in June this year, Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer told an audience that marketers must embrace native advertising, citing statistics that viewers of native ads are 3.6 times more likely to perform a branded search and six times more likely to do a related search than people who view traditional display ads.

Native advertising is all about achieving a tight weave of ad and content threads,” Wegert says. “It would be hard to deny that Yahoo’s doing a thorough job of seamlessly integrating beautiful, interesting ads into Yahoo Style.”

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