Bite-size native travel advertising for mobiles

Bite-size native travel advertising for mobilesFairfax Media's latest Brand Discover product, Shorticles, delivers short and sweet stories on the highlights of Singapore

Fairfax Media has partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board to produce a new series of list-style native advertising stories, known as ‘Shorticles’, that has been tailored for mobiles.

The articles, accessible on the Traveller website and hosted on the publisher’s Brand Discover native ad hub, deliver a series of bite-size snapshots of the city from food to festivals, local landmarks and quirky cultural experiences.

Shorticles are available across desktop, smartphone and tablet but are optimised for mobile and social media, where readers prefer shorter content, according to Fairfax Media custom solutions commercial manager Felix Krueger. Readers can swipe or click through a series of 10 200-word stories with photos taking up equal space with the text.

With Traveller.com.au a popular read for the Singapore Tourism Board’s target Australian audience, area director Sharon Lam described Shorticles as “a great vehicle to help us reach people who have visited Singapore before and those who haven’t, by giving them a taste of the hidden quirks, distinctive cultures, vibrant precincts and unique local customs – in an intriguing and highly shareable way.

“Many people may not realise that there’s much more to Singapore than chilli crab, Singapore Sling and Singapore Zoo.”

Mr Krueger said the Fairfax Brand Discover team created the new format to meet the brief from the Tourism Board.

“We found based on our data that shorter content works best in a mobile environment and on social media,” he said.

“Across Brand Discover, more than half of readers consume our content on mobile.

“This fun and engaging format demonstrates how Fairfax Media develops native advertising

solutions for all industries with products aligned to their key audience needs.”

The Singapore series will be the first of many Shorticles to come across Fairfax Media websites this year. Travel was an ideal launch category as one of the most easily engaging native advertising subjects, Mr Krueger said.

“The travel industry has a really long tradition of creating content and sharing information – people don’t mind tour operators, airlines or tourism bodies talking about their product because it is a destination.”

However, the format was not limited to a certain category, he said. “We create the content from scratch so we can customise to any category.

“The key is to create content that is of use and interesting to our readers – that’s the main box that needs to be ticked.”

The Singapore Shorticles can be found on Traveller.com.au via the “Uncover” tab on the Singapore page. Brand Discover ads are strictly separated from editorial content, with regular promotional driver positions on masthead homepages and Outbrain links below articles labelled with sponsored content.

The response to the series so far had been positive, with overall engagement levels on Brand Discover comparable to regular content at around 90 seconds per article, Mr Krueger said.

“If we create quality content, as we always aim for, and we’re upfront with our readers, people don’t mind that it’s paid for.”

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