Timothy Cook, Apple’s embattled CEO, announced that Apple iMacs are now available for sale at all New Jersey Turnpike rest stops. The deal sent shockwaves from Exit 18W all the way down to Exit 1.
The iMac, which sells at pristine Apple stores for a retail price of as much as $1,999, will be priced at N.J. Turnpike rest stops on a real-time bidding basis. Drivers stopping in for a Nathan’s hot dog and to use the rest room can bid a dollar amount representing what the iMac is worth to them. If their bid is the highest, they can take the computer with them on the rest of their road trip.
The deal between Apple and the N.J. Turnpike is based on a revenue share on all sales. Apple has the right to set a floor price so the iMac doesn’t sell for less than $200, for example. Apple may also provide the N.J. Turnpike a list of people who are blocked from buying the iMac on the Turnpike. “We don’t want to jeopardize sales from the people we think would enjoy the privilege of paying two grand for our iMac at our flagship stores,” Cook explained.
The CEO, who is under extreme pressure to hit his Q3 revenue goals, said in his statement, “Why not sell our computers to an audience that may not be comfortable driving into New York City, or to people who can’t afford them?” He continued, “This program allows good-hearted folks a chance to buy our product at a price they think is fair, and we can make some extra revenue from computers we couldn’t sell at our own stores.”
The rest stop owners are ecstatic. Sam Bosh, owner of the Vince Lombardi rest stop located near Exit 16, thinks it’s a great deal for him and for Apple. “Who knows, maybe the bids will get competitive and the price our patrons are willing to pay for an iMac will be close to what Apple charges at their own stores,” Bosh said. When it was pointed out that even if that were to occur, Apple has to share the revenue with the N.J. Turnpike, Bosh responded, “Well I don’t know how that all works -- but I do know that since the launch of this Apple iMac program, sales for our fake designer sunglasses have gone through the roof!”
Based on this innovative strategy to destroy a premium brand’s value, Rolex, Mercedes and Nike are rumored to be looking at retail space at 7-Elevens as well as select New Jersey diners and bowling alleys.
Yes, that’s what I am saying -- premium publishers selling their inventory on ad exchanges is like Apple selling iMacs at rest areas and Rolex selling watches at 7-Elevens.
Premium publishing brands are getting used. North of 95% of the ad impressions sold on the exchanges will appear on sites with very little contextual value. So the venture capitalist-backed tech companies need premium inventory to hang in their storefront windows to help drive greater sales of their “fake designer sunglasses.” These tech companies have smartly exploited premium publishers’ fear of “unsold inventory,” combined with the promise to line these publisher’s pockets with found change. Now advertisers driven by their buyers, will show up in droves at the exchanges looking for bargains -- while the premium value that took years for premium publishers to build, will be left on the side of road.