I haven’t been on this earth all that long, so it’s weird to think that the next generation will have no recollection of what life was like even when I was a kid. More and more, I find myself taking for granted technologies that have improved tremendously and made life so much easier. With every enhancement in technology, companies either embrace the change, find strategies to adapt and flourish, or simply fade away. This is by no means a new business model, simply Darwin’s theory at work.
Take TV, for example, which this year has been all the rage. Lately my news feed has been cluttered with headlines about Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Google TV, Roku XD and Boxee, to name a few. Just recently, movie rental giant Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy, and it seems that we are indeed in the midst of a media revolution. Even cable companies are feeling their grip loosen as subscribers now have more reasons to cut the cord.
The switch from live to "on demand" choices presents a problem to us marketers. Since TV spots run during TV shows, we have to find ways to capture the same audience in new media. Fortunately, this provides a great opportunity for interactive campaigns, one that is within the budget parameters of a medical device marketer, unlike TV ad rates.
Already there are ad pre-rolls played before a video is shown on most video streaming sites, like Hulu. It’s the same concept as a TV spot, but since the ad is being aired on a computer, you have the option to put a link on it to be clicked while playing. This channel has been available for some time and is still an effective method. Recently, however, Apple went one better and announced iAd for its iOS 4 platform.
An iAd is the same as a rich-media banner that you would see on a website. It is an interactive graphic that engages and entertains the user, leaving him or her with a memorable experience that helps your brand overall. It is up to the viewer to initiate the interactivity, so you should present something they’ll want to click. Games are always a good call.
Why should you care about iAd? Well, it’s been rumored that Apple plans to incorporate iAd into Apple TV (Apple’s new model that allows you to rent movies/shows from iTunes, along with many other things). I’m willing to guess that Apple ultimately will, since both iAd and Apple TV run on iOS 4. As for other new streaming devices and software, I wouldn’t be surprised if they followed suit with their own advertising platform. Using an iAd in apps has already been proven to work; imagine the possibilities elsewhere.
And so, as we begin yet another monumental leap in our always-evolving, technology-filled lives, I leave you with one question: When the video exodus comes and everyone is fleeing their cable bills, will you be ready to adapt your marketing, or be left at the video rental store? I think you’ll want to tune in.
Benjamin Smith is the lead developer at Seidler Bernstein where he applies his considerable technology skills to a wide range of interactive projects. Ben works closely with his colleagues on the creative and account teams to bring client brand strategies to digital life. Ben keeps SBI and its clients leading-edge of technology with enthusiasm and good humor.