Apple iAd Team Answers Questions About the Platform

Apple's iAd team headed by former CEO of Quattro Wireless Andy Miller, visited Hill Holliday to answer questions about new platform.

Here is what they learned:

1. While the ad behaves similarly to the expanding rich banner units you see online, the overall experience is a lot less jarring. You click on the banner, the app screen slides up, and the ad screen slides in. When you are done, you close the ad, and you are right back to what you were doing.

2. Each banner published on the network will carry an iAd logo to differentiate it from the ads that do click into the browser, a Good Housekeeping seal of sorts. There will be only one iAd banner per app screen, and it can sit either near the top or the bottom edge.

3. The ads look and behave a lot like apps; the early and very popular lighter app by Zippo would feel right at home here. Unlike browser-based ads, iAd ads can tap into all major OS features of the phone, from compass and accelerometer to the multitouch interface. In the beginning, all ads will be built (in HTML5) by the iAd team. In the future, Apple will release an iAd SDK.

4. The team emphasized that what Apple is selling to advertisers is the iPhone and iPod-totting demographic in general, not users of any individual app. This seems like a good news for the app makers on the longer side of the tail who, too, will have a chance to make money.

5. They are lining up “charter” advertisers for the June launch and they will be looking for high-quality creative, which means, I guess, no fat belly ads. Initially, the network will work on iPhone and iPod touch only, with iPad coming some time in the future.

6. One thing conspicuously (to a media buyer) absent from Jobs’s demo last week was any discussion of targeting. It seems Apple isn’t ready to make all of the details public yet, but what they showed us was very impressive in its granularity.

7. To answer the burning question — yes, we did talk about the price. Unfortunately, we can’t share much on this either. The pricing isn’t that of remnant inventory, obviously — it is what you would expect from a premier online property. The pricing scheme struck me as very straightforward and elegant.

You can read more about Apple's visit and initial reactions on the Hill Holliday blog.


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