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Publishers have embraced interactivity on tablets with videos, 360-degree photos and behind-the-scenes footage to bring content to life, but on the whole, advertisers are yet to do the same.

Instead, a lot of advertisers seem happy to re-produce print ads rather than fully exploit the interactive capabilities of tablet devices.

Just as video ads made specifically for digital consumption work better than re-purposed TV ads, surely the same should be true for the likes of the iPad?

Interactive iPad editions of magazines such as T3, Wallpaper* and Wired offer the consumer a totally different user experience. They are not limited by the restrictions of print, which means they can delve much deeper and offer readers content they could only have dreamed of a couple of years ago.

So why shouldn’t the same be true for advertisers?

Of course, there are brands that have embraced the opportunity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tends to be technology firms, such as Panasonic, Intel and Sony, along with automotive brands, including Renault and Audi, that have grabbed hold of it with both hands, and the results speak for themselves.

An interactive ad for Renault, which featured in the June iPad edition of T3, for example, received an average dwell time of 240 seconds and was viewed approximately three times by each individual – that’s a total of 12 minutes. I imagine a flat PDF version of the same ad would be hard pushed to command the same level of interest.

Advertisers have a hard enough time as it is to engage readers, so surely it’s an opportunity not to be passed up?

Plus, as the level of interactivity on iPad continues to soar, an ad offering anything less will simply be overlooked. A flat, lifeless ad sitting alongside a fully interactive editorial page will just get lost – regardless of how striking it is or how well it works in print.

James Ranson, Future Publishing advertising sales director for its technology titles, brought up the issue at the publisher’s tablet media briefing. He reckons the sky is the limit in terms of what can be done, but urged creative agencies to step up their game.

Relatively speaking, it’s early days, but surely it is a wasted opportunity for advertisers if they don’t exploit the technology too?


Published 15 February, 2012 by NMA Staff

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