How iAd and the iPad Will Change Mobile Marketing

Apple’s iPad will be a revolutionary gadget, certain pundits have predicted, transforming everything from print media to environmentally friendly transportation to computing at large. But I’m beginning to think that Apple’s much-hyped new tablet may have more impact on mobile marketing than any other segment.

For years, mobile marketing has been on the cusp of a breakthrough, according to industry analysts, but has been held back by a host of problems, including the small screen sizes of mobile phones and a general lack of traffic on the wireless web. As I discuss in my weekly column over at GigaOM Pro, Apple is positioned to give mobile ads a huge boost with iAd, a platform and network that will deliver come-ons to users on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad via the upcoming iPhone OS 4. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Apple will charge advertisers a stiff $1 million or so to deliver ads to the mobile devices, and may demand as much as $10 million for marketers eager to be a part of iAd’s launch.

The high price tag is sure to keep some advertisers at bay, as will Apple’s insistence on controlling how ads are created in iAd. But marketers willing to shell out the cash to be a part of iAd are sure to invest heavily to create the kind of compelling, immersive ads that will grab users’ attention on the iPad (and Apple will surely make sure they do so). While the tiny screens and limited controls of mobile phones continue to shackle advertisers looking to target on-the-go users, iPad’s full-sized touchscreen invites the kind of creative, innovative campaigns that ad agencies dream of.

That kind of functionality will allow creative types to develop all sort of innovative, compelling mobile ad campaigns. And those efforts will trickle down to smartphones and other mobile devices as advertisers tweak them to compensate for the shortcomings of smaller gadgets. So while advertisers may not be able to fully duplicate their iPad campaigns on traditional handsets, Apple’s new tablet will have a major ripple effect throughout the still-emerging world of mobile marketing. Read the full article here.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Steve Rhodes.