Getting ready for the April 3 iPad introduction, FedEx has bought advertising space on the iPad applications from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. Chase Sapphire, a credit card for the high-end market, has bought out The New York Times’s iPad advertising units for 60 days after the introduction.
These are strong indicators of interest early on but there are a few factors that may be attributing to the initial interest in ads. Not the least of which is that many savvy advertisers are seeing that while they are spending ad dollars on a pre-market product with a small advertising audience (about 200,000 pre-orders for the iPad at the moment), they could be getting a bigger bang for their buck.
How? Their ad money will get them a seat on the “Apple Express” which will be the media hype and buzz about the product itself. Imagine the number of screenshots of various apps that will be used in blog posts etc to show the iPad to the world. The reach of that iPad app ad suddenly gets much bigger at least in the early stages.
Big names in advertising are lining up for the start and it will likely make many stand up and take notice.
Advertisers including Unilever, Toyota Motor, Korean Air and Fidelity have booked space on Time’s iPad application. In a draft press release, The Journal said a subscription to its app would cost $17.99 a month, and the first advertisers included Capital One, Buick, Oracle, iShares and FedEx.
Of course this is a completely new venue for advertisers and many questions remain including just how will these ads look on the iPad. Also, since Flash is an Apple no-no many advertisers will need to re-jigger existing ads to fit the new platform.
So will this initial buzz be long lasting? That is impossible to predict. Questions about pricing for the ads regarding whether they should be flat rate or per impression charge are things that will be hammered out over time. Some publishers are looking for higher rates than their print offerings. There are questions about success metrics for iPad ads. Honestly, they are all perfectly normal and valid business questions that are going to need time to see just what a good answer looks like.
Maybe it was best said by Mark Ford, president of the Time Inc. News Group, which includes Time and Sports Illustrated
Mr. Ford said that while advertiser interest had been intense, “we’re all learning.”
“It’s a moving target,” he said.
Hmmm. Taking time to learn and see just what will happen versus getting all antsy about what might happen. Mr. Ford, please stop making sense.
On that very fair, reasonable and logical note I will wish you a fine weekend. Take care.