iAd - Did Google hold a red cloth to the charging bull?

Posted by Jobi George on Friday, April 9, 2010

With iAd now officially announced and details starting to trickle in, the fight is officially on. Google and Apple are now in direct competition, and this time it is on Google’s home turf. Forbes has a good take on what is missing in the iAd efforts.

The four keys ones are -

  1. Creative agencies build ads in Flash. There is no comparable tool for creating HTML5 creatives.
  2. As a media agency (e.g., Publicis, Havas.), how do I determine the proper targeting of ads to execute the buy to my satisfaction.
  3. How would I measure results?
  4. Oh, also, how will these ads be priced exactly?

The tool for creating ads looks like a limitation today but is something we can expect Apple to fix quickly. XCode is a great IDE, and it won’t be a stretch to add new capability to create iPhone/iPad advertisements. I think here Apple has the advantage, and it is just a matter of time.

The last three points are the more critical and crucial ones determining whether the iAd platform succeeds. It is all about the 2-sided platform and attracting a solid user base on both sides. Google is the 800-pound guerrilla that is logically expected to dominate. But don’t forget that Google is also a relatively new player to the advertising ecosystem and certainly a big disruptor in the online search-based advertising marketplace. But search engine advertising is only a tiny share of the bigger pie of the advertising value chain. The traditional mass media advertising players now have a good ally in Apple to extend media advertisements to new platforms. No wonder we see WSJ and NYtimes drooling over the iPad launch.

The Apple iAd couldn’t come at a worse time for Google. It is trying hard to extend the online search advertising (a cash cow) monetization model beyond search engines with forays into YouTube and Google Map ads. It was slowly starting to get traction and now suddenly has two significant threats facing it - Facebook with its massive user base and Apple with its widely popular device. Both platforms can now better solve issues like click fraud and ad relevancy.

Did Google draw a big “Bulls-eye” on its core business? Maybe, the bigger question would be how quickly the iPad volume ramps and how it is perceived closer to mass media like - “TV” & “Print” or more in the league of “online search.” This is just the first inning, but we can be sure that when all is said and done, the end-user will be experiencing more personalized, localized, targeted messages that will look like nothing like how they experience advertisement today.

Originally posted at Blogspot on 2010-04-09 11:37:00 +0000 UTC