Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Guest Post: Remaking Advertising The Apple Way

Posted by Guest Writer - May 14, 2010

by Troy Young, President, VideoEgg

Last year we held an event called 7 Minutes to Reinvent the Internet for Advertising. In my 7 minute spiel, I spoke about the challenges you'll find with the online ad experience and management of consumer data.

It occurred to me that every medium has a native (and logical) ad model, but the Internet was struggling to find one, mostly because of its amorphous nature - it is at once all media, a transactional environment and communications tool rolled into one big hairy package.

I suggested an alternative idea - something called the Advertising Programming Interface (API with an ad twist) - a flexible toolset making possible the delivery of rich ad experiences across a range of digital environments.

Ideas came rushing back to me today as I considered Apple's entry into the advertising world and the introduction of its new media consumption device, iPad. Steve Jobs makes the obvious points here - mobile advertising needs to deliver experientially and with a lot less friction for the consumer.

Indeed, the iAd seems entirely logical for a company obsessed with controlling the user experience. You see the instinct in it with every move Apple makes - control hardware, control the OS, control applications, control retail, control online point of sale. Remaking advertising the Apple way is entirely logical. What is the point of creating a very elegant tool if the ad experience undermines it? That and the business opportunity are compelling. Apple is making advertising native to the device as part of the 4.0 IPhone OS.

Now what the iAd points to is a broader requirement for success in online brand advertising. For digital brand advertising to succeed, it needs to be both interactive and emotional. For a second, imagine if this same thing happened on the Web. What if advertising was part of the "Web OS"?

What if advertising was part of an open system, built into HTML, supported by every browser and OS?

Think about a simple tool kit to create stunning consumer experiences (like the Apple SDK), consistent rules so consumers know what to expect, full-page immersive ads integrated into a universal profile management system. Maybe even a universal shopping cart.

As an industry we would worry less about size (IAB standards) and more about the experiential tools that advertisers leverage to create things people actually dig.

That would be cool. And, in many ways it is happening across the Web. But with hundreds of competing players and standards, it's taking a hell of a long time. Brands wish it was happening faster.


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