Posted April 5, 2010 11:32 am by with 0 comments

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Well, have you been able to gather yourself after the iPad finally launched this weekend? There was significant buzz around this event that appears to started out with 300,000 units sold (200,000 of those were pre-orders). Lines formed at all the Apple stores in the US but I found it rather funny that in an interview segment conducted by the Wall Street Journal featured a rather tired sounding mom getting 2 iPads for her kids and another guy who was there waiting in line because he Mom told him to get her one!

Well, advertisers are hoping that the rest of these 298,998 users of the iPad are ready to accept some advertising. We have looked at this before at MP but now that the iPad is on the street we’ll take another peek. Clickz tells us a little more.

Hoping to capitalize on the massive hype surrounding the launch of Apple’s iPad device, major advertisers have forked out substantial sums to align themselves with some of the dedicated applications now on offer.

According to reports, and echoed by interactive agency sources in New York, advertisers are spending between $75,000 and $300,000 to secure sponsorships of applications at launch, typically for a period of one or two months.

Some of these sponsorships are initially being sold at flat rates. What is probably most interesting is the initial 300,000 sold came in low from some estimates so those buying expecting more reach may have been a little disappointed.

Many advertisers though figure that tying their brand to the initial frenzy that accompanies Apple launches like this one could be worth the risk.

Jason Klein, co-president of interactive agency LBi U.S., said the high-profile sponsorships are just attempts to capitalize on the hype surrounding the device. “It’s not necessarily a matter of the immediate impression impact. Reach and frequency take a back seat to the novelty and PR impact of being associated with a launch like this.” he said.

Some of the brands jumping on early include Chase Sapphire who sponsored the New York Times free application launch and intends to stick with this for a few months. Of course, the Wall Street Journal is sticking to its guns and going the paid app route with a variety of sponsorship partners. It is likely that the WSJ is putting a stake in the ground saying essentially that nothing is free anymore regardless of what people say. I actually think it is a smart move because if the New York Times ever wants to charge for anything regarding the iPad it will have to turn its free-appers (my term for freeloaders in an app driven world) into paid customers and that doesn’t usually work so well.

The Wall Street Journal’s paid application launched last week with sponsorship from major global brands including Buick, Capital One, Coca-Cola, FedEx and Oracle, all of which will make use of full-screen interstitial ads which appear in between article and section pages as the user consumes content through the application.

All in all it is just way too early to tell if there will be any true value to the iPad platform for advertisers. What will be telling for those interested in just how viable this new medium is for advertising efforts are the sales figures in the next month or two. With the economy still on the fritz there could be a sizable market sitting on the sidelines waiting for the reviews of the iPad to come in.

Thus far the buzz has been much more positive than negative but the slower than expected first day sales usually is an indicator of a rough road ahead. If people are not willing to experiment right out of the gate they will come up with excuses to continue to sit on the sidelines. Product introductions like this depend on blockbuster initial day sales because it is the thing that tells everyone else who wants to play with the cool kids that it’s a good thing to do.

OK, Mr. or Mrs. Advertiser, are you getting ready to jump in the iPad express or are you going to where more people are? Is this initial iPad crowd influential enough to make you think again about jumping in? So many questions and so few answers but considering this has only been around or 2 days maybe we should relax a little and let something actually happen.