Embracing the future: Will Apple’s iAd be the future of advertising? Unilever, owner of the deodorant brand Lynx, is set to launch the brand’s new range of products on Apple’s iAd mobile advertising network. The campaign for the Excite range will start its life on iAd before following up with print, TV, digital, gaming and out-of-home advertising and PR. The campaign for Lynx Excite will be as eye catching as ever, with scantily clad girls an absolute certainty. But it’s not the buxom bikini babes that are the striking feature of the Excite ads. By putting their campaign out on iAd before the more traditional methods, Unilever is one of the first brands to utilise what could be the most innovative advertising development in recent times. iAd is a ground breaking step forward for advertising and marketing. Using the latest technology, Apple has moved a step closer to producing personalised adverts for its clients. The iAd platform will allow companies to find out users’ whereabouts and supply relevant adverts specific to their location. Technology Expert Kim Mai-Cutler explains further on the Mobile Beat website: “McDonald’s could theoretically serve 10,000 people mobile ads in a city and receive analytics showing what percentage of them later actually visited a McDonald’s. That’s much more measurable than buying a 30-second ad on TV, which can’t return granular data on how it affected purchasing behaviour.” The concept means that a business could monitor its R.O.I based on marketing and advertising spend much more accurately, spending only what was needed to make a good return. This is a potentially huge advancement for business and will allow companies to be much more efficient with their marketing strategies. There are, however, some drawbacks. Security experts have questioned the safety of people making their location public on similar platforms like 4square and Facebook’s Places utility. It has been warned that providing locations like your home address leaves a user open to crime such as burglary. It is true that location tracking devices could put a person at risk in this way. It could also be said that the wisdom of a user disclosing their home address on such a service is very questionable. Aside from the security issues related to iAd, the other problems centre around the devices actually used to display the ads. On testing out the very first ad to be featured on iAd, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the ad crashed their iPad app twice, forcing them to reboot the app to continue using it. Obviously that isn’t the kind of response Apple want to filter through to potential iAd advertisers, so expect future generations of iPads and iPhones to have larger memory to cope with the processing needed. No doubt there will be teething problems, as there are with all new innovations. But with a massive, growing army of iPhone and iPad users to target, iAd could well be the future of advertising. Welcome to the future….
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