REDPILL and Volvo: how clever native makes online advertising work

Online advertising can foster goodwill, emotion and brand engagement like no other media - if done well. But a lot of brands still put their budget behind traditional advertising.

Content is king, and Volvo and Redpill reached an impressive number of people during the campaign
Content is king, and Volvo and Redpill reached an impressive number of people during the campaign

Strong content and calculated distribution is changing that, as native media agency Redpill explains through one of the year's biggest campaigns...

"I listened but I didn’t always follow," says Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Volvo’s #MadeBySweden campaign. It’s a cinematic, emotional production about one of the world’s best footballers – and where he’s come from. It’s had over 6.5 million YouTube views.

There is a contextual misunderstanding happening in advertising. The shift to online is happening at speed as consumption habits continue to change. Yet, many brands run the same assets on- and offline, and apply the same interruptive advertising strategy as traditional media.

Audiences have developed a Pavlovian response to ignore an ad when it intrudes online, whether it’s a pre-roll, in-stream, out-stream or a pop-up.

However, some brands are beginning to realise the power of native advertising and are pushing the boundaries with standout content – content that actually resonates with consumers. Redpill is a leading native media agency, delivering strategy, creative, production and media to produce powerful campaigns that flourish in true native environments.

For the distribution of #MadeBySweden, we delivered  premium native placements and social influencer activity on Facebook and Twitter to spark organic conversations throughout Europe. The client was able to track and analyse the campaign results in real time across all social platforms using Redpill’s dashboard. We ensure complete compliance with all industry guidelines and offer impartial third-party tracking on all campaigns.

This is one online campaign that has shown the power of quality content for brand building.

Redpill’s clients benefit from a suite of proprietary tech, including a social tool that allows them to review influencer audience insights and previous brand collaborations when launching a new campaign. Drawing on this tech, we release a weekly Influencer Top 10 Chart which tracks the most successful branded influencer videos of the past week.

Another advancement is the branded video player that increases audience engagement by displaying comments within the player. It simultaneously allows viewers to comment directly to the client’s preferred channel without leaving the native article.

We have a human approach. Decisions are based on years of experience and audience insights, not an impersonal algorithm. Distribution and creative departments work together to create truly relevant content that will earn media. This renders the ‘viewability’ and ad-blocking debate redundant; audiences choose to watch the content natively, rather than have it forced on them via an ad unit.

For advertisers and viewers alike, this new approach to advertising is a welcomed step forward.

Independently founded in 2009, REDPILL works with some of the world’s most exciting brands, including Samsung, Heineken and Hugo Boss. They focus exclusively on branded video, covering content strategy, creative, video production and organic distribution.

For more information visit


Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.


Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 PHD and ITV storm Media Week Awards

PHD reigned supreme at the 2016 Media Week Awards, after winning media agency of the year and the coveted Grand Prix for its work for Sainsbury's Christmas campaign, while ITV won sales team of the year.

Just published