updated 04:15 pm EST, Tue January 31, 2006
Ads on iPods
Advertisers are scurrying to find new ways to subvert the commerical-free atmosphere of video content available for the video iPod. Since the launch of the video iPod, owners have been able to download commercial-free television shows from iTunes, causing advertisers to worry that they are losing potential audiences. According to the Wall Street Journal, "some companies are attaching recycled TV spots to the beginning of video files, or podcasts, that can be downloaded from popular Web sites." [subscription required]
"Others are creating new, subtler pitches to bracket shows attractive to their target audiences. And still others are creating their own podcasts that blur the line between entertainment and advertisement in hopes of enticing people to watch the commercials for their own sake," according to the WSJ
Anheuser-Busch has created ads in the form of a mini-documentary in order to entice viewers. The iPod-centered ads feature Ted Ferguson, a man who performs stunts in exchange for free beer from Anheuser-Busch. "The content has to be unique and different [to get viewers' attention]," says Marlene Coulis of
The Wall Street Journal reports that many company exectuvies are trying to figure out what will attract viewers in this new medium. "Consumers have agreed to download your messaging-- they are agreeing to transact with you- you have to be subtle and stop being used-car salesmen," says Greg Smith,
engagement specialist at Carat Fusion, a media services firm.
"People can order up entertainment choices like they order up dinner," states Nintendo's vice president of marketing, Perrin Kaplan. "Consumers today have so many choices. It's now about doing surgical marketing."