The IPad Is Changing Media Buying

Typical media buys will include a mix of tactics that promote a brand or product in the most effective and efficient way possible. Planners and buyers will leverage sites, platforms and media that can potentially produce the greatest return or achieve the highest degree of visibility.

Thanks to advent of new mobile technologies, the standard approach to digital ad buying, such as paid search and online banners, is declining. With the introduction of the iPad, the nature of advertising is undergoing a paradigm shift. With more than two million iPads sold in fewer than two months, media buyers must understand the device has reshaped how consumers interact within the digital space. For example, Wired magazine created an interactive version of itself for the iPad and received sales of 24,000 digital copies in one day.

Technology is the driving force of future consumer consumption and the following needs to be considered when planning campaigns.

1. Reach the right audience



Unlike the online or print versions that capture marketing data with each transaction or sale, iPad usage data is restricted to Apple. While you could advertise on the web version of the product site, apps are where the audience is being engaged.

When buying media for the iPad, you need to consider sponsorships as the optimum medium; create a message that is broad and connected to the specific app. In movies, product placement and trailers have been used for years, and the concept is equally valid in creating campaigns for consumer consumption or consumer (mass) personalization.

2. Stay efficient

Media buyers will always look for ways to stretch their dollars. Negotiate the lowest CPM's or use networks to achieve a broad reach through targeting capabilities. The days of third-party ad tracking through pixels are behind us (for now), and standard measurement practices will be difficult to apply to such buys. Inability to track users as they jump from one app to the next will force buyers to become creative in their tactics or else be forced to create hundreds of unique ads.

One tactic that is gaining popularity is localization. As you select the properties to work with, check to see if they prompt users to provide their location. By targeting users who have shared their location, you can present offers that are relevant to both the user and brand.

3. Be creative within budget

The iPad presents an opportunity that cannot be overlooked. Creative teams can flex their skills to develop an advertisement that offers an experience so rich that the buzz and excitement alone could generate more media impressions then a standard buy. Consider how effective Apple's own homepage takeovers were on CNN and the Millions of impressions were generated from articles and YouTube videos capturing these out-of-the-box concepts.

4. Create the strongest media mix

Understand the challenges that new technology has introduced to traditional digital advertising. The lack of a standard ad creation and delivery platform needs to be re-thought: should buzz be more important than targeted eyeballs or critical mass? Is the need to use sponsored tactics worth disrupting efficiency?

On the plus side, the media world may not have to wait too long before these issues are addressed. Apple is launching iAds on July 1 and, just recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau announced it had formed a Task Force to develop an infrastructure to provide guidance and ad standards for tablets and e-readers.

1 comment about "The IPad Is Changing Media Buying ".
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  1. Pam Alvord from Kilgannon, June 21, 2010 at 8:04 a.m.

    I agree, Alex, and appreciate your reference to the creative freedom that the iPad represents. This is a topic our Executive Creative Director recently blogged about


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