Apple launches iAd mobile ad service


Apple announced the launch of its iAd mobile ad platform during Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. iAd has already managed to sign up deals with advertisers including Disney, Nissan, Citi, Unilever, AT&T, Chanel, GE, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Geico, Campbells, Sears, JC Penny, Target, Best Buy, Direct TV and TBS, confirming deals worth $60 million.

The platform aims to will provide competition to Google’s online ad services.

“iAd will combine the emotion of television advertising with the interactivity of television advertising,” Jobs reportedly said at the conference, adding that he predicts iAd would be handling nearly 48% of total mobile advertising in the US by December. 60% of revenues collected from iAd will be paid to the advertisers via iTunes Connect.

iAd is available as part of the new iOS 4 software update and will be available on the iPad, iPhone 3G, 3GS and the new iPhone 4 as well as later iPod Touch models.

Said Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer: “It’s great to have been able to translate conversations from a month ago into concrete action so soon and to be at the forefront of something so innovative. Unilever has always been an innovator in advertising – from the first black & white and colour advertising on UK TV, to Dove ‘Evolution’ being the first online ad to win the Lion d’ Or at Cannes – and we are now leading marketing into the digital age where the key will be to unlock the potential of mobile.”

55 years on from airing the first ever television ad in the UK with Gibbs SR toothpaste, Dove for Men will be the first consumer product to be advertised on Apple’s new platform in July, with a new ad specifically designed to be shown on Apple’s suite of mobile devices.

Dove for Men will be the first in a series of Unilever brands expected to run ads on the new platform.

Architect of the Apple deal, Babs Rangaiah, Unilever’s Vice President Global Communications Planning said, “We know that 25 percent of the world is online now, but the next 75 percent will mostly get online via mobile – and mostly in D&E markets. This partnership will offer us the ability to work within what we believe will be the future of the mobile internet – APPS.”