When Apple launched its iAd mobile advertising offering, there was reason to be excited. After all, Steve Jobs was promising something revolutionary, and betting against him was not for the faint of heart.
Unsurprisingly, major brands lined up to try out iAds. Yes, the minimums were high, and Apple exerted far more control over the creative process than was typical, but if the ads were as cool as its devices, all would work out. Or so the thinking went.
Over time, however, it has become clear that iAd wasn't exactly evolving as Apple had hoped. To keep existing advertisers satisfied and woo new ones, the company has been forced to offer concessions.
Now it seems that Apple is once again trying to make advertisers happy as iAd loses ground to offerings from competitors like Google. According to the Wall Street Journal, the minimum spend Apple is willing to consider for iAd deals has dropped to $400,000, to introduce "more flexibility to a pricing structure that had befuddled advertisers." In addition, Apple is working with Omnicom's OMD on a training program.
Will it work? Unilever says it's happy, and executives at companies like Pepsi seem to be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt. "They are still learning the advertising world," Pepsi's head of digital Shiv Singh told the Wall Street Journal.
The real question isn't whether Apple can make iAd work but rather, how quickly it can modify iAd so that it does work before Apple becomes a small player in an increasingly large market. Perhaps not quickly enough, and one thing is already certain: the iAd that Steve Jobs envisioned is almost certainly a thing of the past.