Native advertising (sponsored content, advertorials or infomercials) was used in The Guardian by Coventry, while an article on 'How to make the most of Clearing' was 'powered by' the USW on the heatworld website and TSR's daily tweets subtly promoted links to specific chats and forums on behalf of its advertisers. Links to videos are standard practice, but embedded videos were innovatively used by ARU, Goldsmiths and Plymouth. Multiple call to action buttons, a relatively simple concept, were creatively employed by Staffordshire University, whose adverts featured both 'call me back' and 'why Staffs?' options.

​​​​​​​​​​​Clearing ads 2015

Digital advertising dominated..  


Remarketing and programmatic buying enabled more cost effective targeting by behaviour and context. Retargeting, can be done via RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads), Social, Network (eg. Google, Microsoft), Video (You Tube) or your own CRM lists. Programmatic buying uses similar technology, but is applied to advertising that is aggregated, booked, flighted, analyzed and optimised via demand side software interfaces and algorithms. It includes both real-time bidding (RTB) and non RTB buy types, such as Facebook Ads API and Google Display Network.​ Ad were found across tabloids, national press, lifestyle magazines and gossip sites. PPC and fixed cost advertising was prevalent on the specialist education sites/forums, such as The Telegraph, The Student Room (TSR), UCAS, What Uni? and Hotcourses. Leader boards, home page take overs and bill boards all proved popular choices. ​​Most promoted adverts on social media focused on Open Days and hotlines; subject/course-specific advertising was limited and untargeted.