The mobile video services on both my iPhone and iPad are starting to pile up, and just remembering what I have is getting cumbersome. I am sure that the video providers themselves would like to think that having multiple channels on a mobile deck is much like having a remote control that lets you rifle through the options regularly. It is not. Having discrete videos branded as ABC, CBS, Hulu, TMZ, AMC, etc. on the iPhone/iPad home pages is more like a wall of TVs -- each of which needs to be turned on, warmed up and navigated under their ...
It's always good to see brands support a nascent platform like the iPad and make an honest effort to blend with the new surroundings. So I don't mean to discourage anyone. But we are still waiting for a brand to stand out with a singular experience that leverages the technology, the screen, and the occasion for use. It is time to do a first pass at iPad ads.
Traveling for the West Coast tour of the OMMA Ad Nets and Behavioral series left me with a lot of time to kill in airports, on shuttles and online. Perfect for app harvesting. A handful of apps caught my eye I as I did my latest run of serial downloading from the App Store. Each of these apps has ended up sticking onto my deck because they have some piece of app-iness to them, something that makes them more than a tchotchke or a good but shallow idea, which pretty much sums up most mobile apps.
A lot of the branded apps I play with don't actually make much of a case for the brand or communicate much about the sponsor beyond the usual promotional messaging. I always wonder if any of these apps has the capacity to convert the uninitiated and help a company actually acquire new loyalists. Some are getting there. But I am still amazed at the missteps and silly missed opportunities that abound in this space. There seem to be more good ideas that fail to execute.
"Ooh, look. Buffy!" Generally it is hard to get my partner interested in my iPhone and iPad. Like all gadget widows, I imagine, she has framed my collection of mobile devices as the enemy -- diversions that pull me away from attending to her during every waking moment. But she has discovered Hulu Plus on my iPhone and iPad and is marveling at their deep library of episodes of "the best thing ever put on TV," she insists. That is where Hulu Plus, even at $10 a month, first impresses.
One of the real challenges for brands trying to effect a meaningful app strategy is that the platform requires them to become publishers. An app is only as good as the content that flows through it. Too many first-generation branded apps had the half-life of a kids' birthday party swag bag: fleeting, disposable, easily breakable.
For an ad format that was supposed to revolutionize mobile advertising as thoroughly as the iPhone did itself, these damn iAds are a pain in the ass to find. Launched formally on July 1, the hotly anticipated multimedia in-app ad platform from Apple appears to be trickling into the iPhone environment at a surprisingly slow pace. Just try to find an app that is currently running an iAd.
Through many iterations and false starts, a number of vendors have tried to sell the idea of visual person-to-person calling decade after decade. Most recently, I saw the scheme show up on a home shopping channel targeted to seniors. Here is how you can keep up with the grandkids, the sentimental pitch goes. Curiously, that is precisely how Apple is framing the appeal of its FaceTime feature on the new iPhone 4.
There is a big disconnect between the readiness of retail and consumer habits when it comes to mobile shopping, according to some recent research. Knowledge Networks just found that 40% of smartphone owners consult apps at least sometimes when making shopping decisions, and 32% say they are more inclined to buy from companies that advertise in apps. And yet another survey from Acquity Group finds that even among the top 500 Internet retailers, only 12% even have a mobile Web site. The share of companies with mobile apps was only 7%.