Apple Shines Spotlight on iAd Campaigns With New App

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Apple (s aapl) Tuesday released a new app called iAd Gallery that provides users with access to all currently available iAd campaigns in one convenient location. That’s right, it’s an app, which you have to download (though it’s at least free), that does nothing but show you advertisements. I won’t be surprised if it makes it into the top free apps charts, either.

The app seems primarily aimed at potential advertisers and developers, as a section called “More” which provides links for more info for brands and joining the iAd network indicate. But the app also has some features which seem to cater to users, too, including the ability to “Love” campaigns you find particularly impressive. Obviously, if Apple can show advertisers that it can convince iPhone users to download an app just to check out ads, it’ll be better able to sell iAds, too.

As of right now, I could only find iAds in the U.S. and UK stores, but the only other ones I was able to check were those for Canada and Japan. 23 campaigns are listed in the version I downloaded from the U.S. App Store, including ads from major brands like McDonald’s(s mcd), AT&T(s t), Unilever (s un) and Geico (s brk.a). According to reports, Apple is having trouble convincing advertisers to come on board, which led to a significant price cut in the minimum iAd buy (from $1 million to $500,000), and the introduction of an iAd Producer tool that makes developing the interactive ads easier. The introduction of this app appears to be the latest step in Apple’s iAds expansion campaign.

Apple also today took steps to stop advertising dollars from flowing to jailbreak software marketplace Cydia. Toyota had introduced a small ad campaign around the new 2011 Scion line using a jailbreak-only iPhone theme, but removed the theme after reportedly receiving a request from Apple.

Despite a relatively slow start, iAds also shows some signs of early success. According to a recent study, users were more than twice as likely to remember Campbell’s soup iAds than TV ads for the same product. Of course, the study that found these results was funded by Apple, so take it for what you will.

I’m actually interested in checking out all the campaigns in the iAd Gallery app, since I seldom see iAds in the actual apps that I use on a daily basis. What about you?

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I clicked on a few out of curiosity, they’re awful.
And really, what could they have done to make it better? Apple is wasting its efforts on something that isn’t their core competency.

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