Apple’s iAds faces some early challenges as service gets up to speed

Apple Online Store“Apple Inc. is facing some early challenges in its closely watched mobile advertising foray, with some ad campaigns experiencing delays as agencies attempt to learn the new system amid Apple’s tight control over the creative process, according to ad executives,” Yukari Iwatani Kane and Emily Steel report for The Wall Street Journal.

Advertisement: Buy a Mac for college, and get a free iPod touch. Configure your Mac and get fast, free shipping only at the Apple Store.

“Since launching its iAd mobile advertising service on July 1, Apple has been slow to roll it out. Of the 17 launch partners Apple named for iAd, only Unilever PLC and Nissan Co. had iAd campaigns for much of July,” Kane and Steel report. “Of the remaining 17, Citigroup Inc., Walt Disney Co. and J.C. Penney Co.—which tied its campaign to the back-to-school-season—have since launched iAd campaigns and other companies are planning iAd efforts. Part of the reason some marketers are experiencing delays in getting their iAds to market is that Apple has kept tight control on the creative aspects of ad-making, something advertisers aren’t used to, according to several ad executives involved with creating iAds… ‘It’s a huge issue having Apple in the creative mix,’ said Patrick Moorhead, director of mobile platforms at DraftFCB, an ad agency owned by Interpublic Group of Cos. Mr. Moorhead isn’t working on any iAds.”

Kane and Steel report, “Announced in April, iAd delivers interactive ads inside iPhone apps without users having to leave or close the app they are currently using. IAd provides a way for Apple to make money from free apps. Developers—who Apple said receive 60% of revenue from the ads—also have more incentive to focus on the App Store, rather than other app marketplaces run by rivals such as Google Inc.”

“A Nissan spokeswoman said its iAd “has driven exceptional results to date.” The company said the rate of users tapping on the banner is five times the click-through-rate of the Nissan Leaf online campaign,” Kane and Steel report. “Apple said in early June that it had iAd commitments from advertisers for 2010 totaling more than $60 million. A person familiar with iAd said it signed up more than 10,000 developers in its network in the first month.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It will take a bit of time for the creatives to grasp what’s possible and for Apple to give them the best methods. This article, likely because it’s Apple, tries to paint a normal situation – a ramp up of a very new service – as something undergoing abnormal difficulties, when everything is going about as well as, or better than, we expected.

Note to Mr. Kane and Ms. Steel: The manipulative quote about it being “a huge issue having Apple in the creative mix” from someone who “isn’t working on any iAds,” ought to be beneath professional journalists.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James W.” for the heads up.]


  1. Apple expects the ad folks to come to the table with the same set of creative standards that Apple brought when designing the platform. Don’t want to just slap bumper stickers all over a mercedes or beamer or porsche…..

  2. If you want to see what iAd can do, if you see the Nissan Leaf at at the top of an MDN page on your iPhone, click on it. Trust me when I day you’ll be amazed.

    Typical hit piece article by WSJ. Change takes time. And iAds finally make banner advertising what they should have been since the Web began.

    Google will sniff at all this, because apps take away their control. But iAds offer advertisers mot just a quick ad or a tease, but as shown in the case of the Nissan Leaf ad, something way beyond that. Smart advertisers and ad agencies will get that.

  3. I have. They are quite cool.

    You can begin to see them in most recent updates to some of the more popular apps. Mostly simple games (one-man developer shops).

  4. I’m a huge fan of Apple, but this has to be frustrating for ad agencies. It’s more than a learning curve. Apple is actually calling the shots to some extent. It’s hard enough to convince an entire agency and a client that an ad is perfect. Throw Apple into the mix and it gets all the more complex.

    My guess: All iAds will consist of Myriad Pro, white backgrounds and faint image reflections.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.