When Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple iAd platform back some months ago, many were amazed at the continuing wave of Apple’s innovation and monetization model he has built. As gaggles stood in awe of “the Steve” (as they usually do), others simply shrugged it off as less than earth shattering. It was amongst those unimpressed that the question was asked “how this is any different than banners ad with compelling landing pages behind them?”
While there is certainly more to the iAd platfrom than meets the naked eye, what it really hammers home, once again, is how the bar has been raised for marketers to rethink content.
As the old refrain goes, the top three most important things in real estate are location, location location. For marketers, it is time again to face the content, content, content conundrum. No, not the kind of singular message tagline type content that tucks nicely into a predefined ad space. Rather, it is about getting people to want to spend time with what lies in wait behind the little banner ad. It is about transcending the consumer mindset and lacklustre expectations that have been set up by less than stellar flat landing pages. It is now about understanding and delivering a payoff for consumers (and not solely the advertiser) when clicking through those little banners.
Now, we all know the mechanics of iAd will work, that is not the issue. The challenge for marketers is to think through the type of robust, entertaining, educational and utility driven content that will make ads become less like, well, ads. Achieving, as Jobs illustrates, emotion and interactivity all at once. That is the real nut to crack.
Take a look at Steve Jobs presenting the iAd platform back in May and ask yourself what you’d do with the potential of a universe inside an ad.