updated 12:00 pm EST, Thu February 3, 2011
Ad network's first effectiveness report
iAd is a potentially much more effective ad medium than TV, the first effectiveness study of the format suggests. Conducted by Nielsen but funded by Apple and Campbell's, the five-week analysis claims that people who saw one of Campbell's iAds were twice as likely to remember it as they were a TV spot. The Campbell's brand was recalled five times more often by iAd viewers versus people exposed to TV ads, although the actual message from an iAd was remembered just three times more.
The iAd group was allegedly four times more likely to buy Campbell's than their TV counterparts, and enjoyed the ad itself five times more. Nielsen notes that the TV and iOS audiences were tested separately. While the former were a part of Nielsen's panel, the latter were recruited from within an assortment of apps.
Advertising Age remarks that Apple is likely hoping to use the study to win over new advertisers, or convince existing ones to renew. Apple is believed to be setting high barriers for its ad network, requiring a $1 million investment for first-run marketers. Both costs and delays are known to have taken a toll on the iAd program, with high-profile clients like Adidas and Chanel dropping out. In some instances Apple may be bending the $1 million rule to get companies onboard.
Also, while Campbell's says it is pleased by iAd results so far, it adds that the study was simply meant to validate the medium; it may not therefore signify a shift away from TV ads. Ad Age points out that the two platforms may have entirely different demographics. The iAd test group was skewed towards the ages, genders and incomes of iPhone and iPod buyers, whereas the TV group consisted of a general audience.