What exactly possesses us to take phone-cam images of our meals is beyond me, but Bravo has wisely found a way to leverage this habit and align it with one of their hit properties in a new app attached to the upcoming season of "Top Chef." Judge's Table lets users "Rate Their Plate."
At this week's OMMA Global show in New York, mobile was pretty much a part of every conversation. And the discussions do not involve simply "getting into" mobile or seeing mobile as the logical extension of the digital strategy. Instead, I heard more people at more levels of companies understanding that the device offers them a unique opportunity to engage a customer at a different level. As we have been arguing in these pages for a couple of years now, mobile should reorient the relationship a brand has with its own base. If done well, it allows a brand to …
It doesn't take long for the "free" download of CBS Interactive's "48 Hours Mystery" app for iPad to rush you toward the subscription wall. Without the $4.99 annual fee, the user is met with a preview video clip of the next week's episode and a bonus clip. Beyond that, be prepared to get out your wallet.
"What is this ad for?" my wife asks as a woman in the commercial hangs on a spinning dancer's neck atop a wet mirror surface for what seems like an unusually long span without any sponsor messaging. "Well, they have us waiting and watching for the answer, don't they?" I explain, suggesting that the ad has already succeeded.
If you think I'm tough on mobile marketing and media, you should talk to my wife. "What good is that?" is her default response to every app I think is relatively cool. Free of the gadget addiction that bedevils her husband, she is unimpressed by dazzling apps and comes at the matter from a convenience and utility perspective. Why should she ferret around in her handbag for her smartphone when out shopping unless it really is answering a specific need?
Mobile apps have been such cute and cuddly little icon-ish things on our smartphones for the past few years, it may have been easy to forget that they are, after all, media. Like questionable TV infomercials and dastardly Web sites, apps can be bad actors, too.
The success story that is the tablet platform just keeps rolling. Today JP Morgan upped its forecast for sales in 2011 to 51.9 million units , up from 46.1 million previously. Analyst Mark Moskowitz estimates that Apple's share will remain at about 70.9% this year and drop only to 62.8% next year. No clear number two player has emerged, he says, and he even argues that we may not see one until Windows 8 arrives late next year. Amazon, while a potent entrant into the market, may be challenged by Android's shaky OS for tablets, he says.
If you haven't yet caved to the New York Times paywall restrictions and ponied up the subscription fee, then you may have let your iPad app for the brand lie unused in recent months. Ralph Lauren gives you a reason to revisit the app with a program that gives users full article access to select sections of the Times and fills many of its ad spaces with lush Lauren creative.
As publishers churn out ever more apps for smartphones, the challenge of monetizing all this additional inventory increases. While display advertising clearly has a place here, mobile does offer content owners the opportunity to leverage their users' attention in new ways, without porting to the small screen the clutter and poorly targeted garbage that renders so much of online advertising virtually invisible.