Friday, 9 April 2010

How Apples iAd Platform Will Transform Mobile Event Advertising

Event Advertising has increasingly struggled in the past few years to capitalise on online opportunities and interaction. Long gone are the days when magazine advertisements alone can generate the level of promotion and excitement that are needed to get the online communities buzzing about an event. Since then we have quickly moved from desktop search, to using Smartphones, and then mobile apps. The growth of apps has been phenomenal, with Apple announcing yesterday they having surpassed the 4 billion mark for apps downloaded. This provides a tantalising market for anyone looking to broadcast their event to a sizeable growing audience right from their mobile device.

Previous attempts at online event advertising centred on using expensive banner advertisement placement on specialist websites, or running Google AdWords campaigns; but neither were able to adequately communicate all the essential information that would convince attendees to register.

Step forward Apple iAd. Yesterday Apple boss Steve Jobs announced the launch of the iAds platform which is looking to add ‘emotion’ into online mobile advertisements. From what we saw at the press launch, Apple iAds has the ability to take event marketing to a whole new level. Once launched the platform will allow app developers to provide advertisement space within their free apps, to effectively monetise them without the user having to spend a penny. With the figures that were released yesterday, this is prime real estate for advertisers to get their hands on.

The real game changer is the way these advertisements are displayed. For instance, imagine somebody using the Yelp app from their iPhone. Sensing a users search for local events within Yelp, an advert appears unobtrusively at the bottom of the app for your event. When the user clicks on the add, a pop up appears with the full page advertisement, giving options to view videos from last year’s event, check out speaker bios, see local accommodation, and most importantly the ability to register for the event. This level of interaction not only gives the user an experience that was never before possible, but will also create an instant connection with the event that would not of been capable with traditional advertising.

As has been seen with many Apple products before, imitation is the highest form of flattery. So it will be no surprise if this level of advert interaction is soon the norm for all online advertising, especially Google AdWords.

The cost of using the new platform is not clear yet, but one thing is for sure, we are moving into a new online advertising era that can be filled with creativity and revolutionary brand interaction and there is no reason why the events world cannot be a part of it.

To see Steve Jobs talking launching the iAd Platform, take a look at the video below.

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