Last spring Apple introduced iAd, their mobile ad platform for iPhone that was intended to raise the bar on mobile advertising. Since then, the use of iAds has been growing, with several high profile brands running campaigns.
The key feature of iAd is that it can deliver a fully interactive experience - including video - without the consumer having to leave the original app. This ’seamless’ implementation makes for a much smoother, less confusing consumer experience.
The first iAd campaign to run on the iPad was done for Disney’s new film TRON:Legacy. Steve Jobs is one of Disney’s largest individual shareholders, and the companies have cooperated on launches previously.
The ad is actually very much like a well done movie marketing application. It includes almost 10 minutes of video, images from the movie, a theater locator that includes showtimes, and a preview of the movie soundtrack which can then be purchased on iTunes without leaving the ad.
Here is a brief run through of what the TRON iAd looks like.
(For a more complete tour, see this article in Business Insider.)
Clicking on the banner ad brings you into the iAD. A full screen video starts to play, with great graphics.
The main menu lets you select from Trailers, Story, Email, Music, Theaters, or Gallery.
The trailers play full screen on the iPad, and look really good.
The Theater feature asks to use your location, and then indicates the closest theaters showing the film. Additionally, address and show times are included in the box on the right.
The Gallery of course includes a whole series of dramtic, high quality images from the film.
The TRON iAd also let’s you send an email to a friend which includes links to the trailers on the movie site. And, you can also sample songs from the movie’s soundtrack, and even purchase the entire soundtrack album through iTunes, all without leaving the iAd.
And when you are done interacting with the iAd, you can just click on the small “X” in the upper left of any screen, and you are returned right back to the TV Guide app where you left off.
Since Apple launched iAd, there has been quite a bit of comment about the difficulty of creating iAds and the control that Apple wants to exert. While this may be true in these early days, in the long term being able to offer a seamless, highly interactive, high-quality graphic experience such as this is a powerful communication tool. While iAds may not be right for all campaigns, they will definitely offer great appeal to certain brands.