If you are an iPad or iPhone user, we'd like you, dear reader, to take the iAd Challenge. Now that the heralded units for all the i-devices have launched, tell us about your iAd experience, won't you? We can spend time here at MediaPost HQ, hunched over our communal iPad waiting for iAds to be served, but it seems more efficient to throw it out to all of you. Consider this your open thread on the topic of iAds you've known and loved (or hated).
The iAd probably has the highest public awareness of any ad unit launch in the history of mobile advertising (maybe even digital) -- which is one reason why these first waves of ads are so valuable. The Applerati follow the words of St. Jobs so closely that all sat rapt, awaiting the arrival of a new type of ad (because like all Apple products, it was to be revolutionary). When an advertiser like Nissan announces its foray into the new units, it gets national attention.
"It will be hard to make a $1-10 million investment pay off," Aaron Goldman, managing partner, Connectual, told us back in May when Jobs made his announcement, "iAd, albeit elegant, is just another interruptive ad model." After the initial rush, will advertisers look around at the detritus of iAds like a child gazes forlornly at wrapping paper strewn across the living room carpet after all the presents are open Christmas morning? When the thrill is gone, will the iAd be just another annoying pop-up?
One of our colleagues played with the Nissan Leaf ad in the app Tipitude and found that to cycle through the iAds, you have to shut the app down and then make sure it's shut down in the quick app switch taskbar as well. So much for being "seamlessly integrated into the app," as the Nissan demo claims.
Apple would not confirm to us what apps and publishers would be running iAds (though AP has said it agreed to after much internal debate, and is even featured in the Nissan Leaf ad demo on the iPhone). That is where you all come in.
There are early adopters, and then there are early adopters -- and readers of MediaPost fall into the category of ridiculously early adopters. Something like 30% of our readers on mobile devices were viewing our content on iPads in a check of Google Analytics on a recent weekday. Based upon the assumption that the iPad is probably the ideal device on which to view the ads, we'd like to call on you all, as one of the best focus groups for the iAd one could imagine.
We know our buddy Jonathan Mirow will undoubtedly have something to say (despite boycotting i-devices), but what of the rest of you? Please use this space to let everyone know where and when you were served an iAd, and what app you were using. And then tell us what you think of the experience.