Doctor Help! I think I have a case of the iAds!(updated)

iad_prescription

When Apple unveiled the new IOS 4 software in April, one of the big new features was the iAd platform. Mr. Jobs reasoning was that current advertising models “suck” I agree with him in principle. Whenever I install a browser on my computer or a friend’s computer, the first add-ons I install are adblock plus and noscript. I can’t remember the last time I actually ever clicked on an online Ad! I consider them interruptions to the normal flow of consuming information. The Ads for the most part are blocks of text and pictures that are usually irrelevant and ugly. You end up having to click on multiple links to get the complete information. Mobile Ads are worse.

Contrast this to print magazines, I usually find myself reading through most of the Ads and usually follow up on the websites. Why? Because they are compelling and and as in Steve Job’s parlance “evoke emotion”. I think a start to end solution like iAd is the way to go. When a person interacts with the Ad, they should be able to get all the information they need without having to jump through hoops. The Nissan Leaf Ad was a great example. During the MIX 2010  as Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore was demoing the AP app, a Ford Focus Ad popped up on the screen. I hope MS does better than that kind of annoying pop up. The Metro UI already has a great magazine feel to it and I hope they leverage that to their advantage. The designers and artists in the print business should transfer their skills from their dying industry to this new and fast growing digital world.

Ads on mobile devices and the desktops have remained stale in general with banners, pop ups and flashing links etc. It is about time they evolved into something more than pieces of information served up by a computer algorithm. Apple will make a lot of money with a healthy 40% cut and I hope Microsoft creates their own platform for WP7. I think the users will be better served and the advertisers will get a better value for their money.

The company with the most to lose here is Google because since Apple now has their own Ad platform, then if Microsoft, RIM and Symbia/Meego create their own, suddenly they are locked out of the major portion of the mobile space. They have won search and advertising on the desktop world but if the experts are correct that mobile is the future, they may be in for some tough times. The future just got interesting!

update:

Just to clarify things. Our website is Ad supported and I would encourage our readers to visit our sponsors and put us on their whitelist if they have Ad blockers. I inadvertently painted a broad brush when trying to make an analysis of the iAd platform and what it means in the mobile space.  What I was trying to portray is that I would like to see Ads that when a user clicks on the link they can get most if not all the info within the Ad rather than going through multiple links and other websites. For the Ads to feel like part of the webpage instead of addons. I also don’t mean that the Ads should automatically pop up. It is just when the user chooses to click on the link. I’d rather have an Ad supported site rather than pay subscription for the most part so I think if the Ads could be more  informational and feel as part of the experience users will be more apt to click on them. We are also faced with the reality a lot of users using Ad blocking software so we must find a way to the change the mindset and I think better design and fully contained Ads are part of the solution. I hope this answers most of the concerns.

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