Tabvertising: iPad and other tablets

The following opinion piece is a preliminary overview of the tablet and e-reader consumer experience written by Jack Wallington, Head of Industry Programmes, at the IAB UK. The IAB Tablet Task Force considers the piece recommended reading without taking a formal perspective on its opinions of technologies or hardware.

If you’ve ever used Jamie Oliver’s “20 Minute Meals” app on the iPhone, it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to know the iPad will become the world’s greatest cookbook. The picture, text and video instructions, interactive shopping lists and a beautifully designed layout are a revolution. Extend this to your favorite magazines and newspapers and you’ve got the ultimate media device in the palms of your hands. This is only the start.

Tablet devices similar to the iPad or the HP Slate have been around for years, yet it’s only now that the touch screen and portable technology can deliver a device capable of their early promise. Coupled with a seemingly unstoppable wave of content coming from companies capitalizing on the ‘gold rush’ of portable applications (apps), it’s clear we’re witnessing the birth of a new age for the way we consume media.

For brands, there are obvious uses for tablets - like extending your search, social media and email campaigns - while display and video advertising have new and exciting innovations to invigorate their use. With larger beautifully rendered, interactive ads in electronic versions of magazines and newspapers, and beautiful video ads around TV shows and films – it’s the ability to stun consumers with eye catching ads that really blows you away.

The IAB will offer far more guidance on this subject in the future but this report is an initial look at the potential of tablets for advertisers. There is an iPad focus because this is clearly the device that will initially convince people that tablets are a legitimate new platform. Apple may win this battle, but the war will no doubt be won by multiple companies as more tablets come to market.

Tablets are part of the future of the internet and the marketing opportunities will be immense. Advertisers need to be involved now to make sure we are helping shape this medium as it grows from seed to sapling.