Author: Johnny Diaz
April 6th, 2010 Two Boston companies are among the first to bring their marketing muscle to Apple Inc.’s new iPad tablet computer.
As part of a collaboration with Time magazine, when users flip through the magazine on an iPad, they’ll see Liberty Mutual Group’s and Fidelity Investments’ new interactive ads pop up on their screens. The local companies join at least a dozen other advertisers looking to bridge their online, print, and broadcast branding on the iPad, including Toyota Motor Corp., Lexus, Korean Air, and Unilever.
At a time when companies are competing for people’s attention through the Web and cable television, marketers increasingly are looking for new ways to plug their clients’ products, and they see huge potential in the iPad. Apple, which unveiled the device in January, delivered more than 300,000 iPads to customers when it began selling the device last Saturday, and more than 1,000 software applications have been made for the device.
“The iPad is the next way to reach a magazine reader,’’ said Geoff Klapisch, a media and advertising professor at Boston University. “Other advertisers are going to follow suit and be watching closely.’’
So far, companies are tight-lipped about how much they are spending on this new form of advertising, but they’re using their iPad ads in different ways.
For example, Toyota’s iPad ad, called “Daddy like,’’ features the brand’s Sienna minivan in a video along with a photo slideshow of a family using the vehicle. There’s also a link to a company video on YouTube.
Liberty Mutual’s ad is part of the Boston insurer’s marketing campaign for its Responsibility Project, which aims to spark a conversation about the meaning of personal responsibil ity and how that theme ties in with the company.
The ad, developed by Boston’s Hill Holliday firm, will activate into a 30-second video when a user touches the screen. After viewing the video, a user can scroll down for more information about the company.
“We are doing things to create a more meaningful dialogue with consumers about responsibility,’’ said Paul Alexander, Liberty Mutual’s senior vice president of communications. “We wanted to use our business-building advertising in a new format.’’
Fidelity’s ad invites people to follow a green line that scrolls through four pages of company services for trading.
When users touch the screen, the ad also opens up to a spot used in television.
One page also displays the company’s iPhone application for placing stocks.
“As an advertiser, most of us are participating in the iPad to gain learning and experience in a new medium and to capitalize on the tremendous consumer interest in the product,’’ said Jim Speros, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Fidelity Investments, an online brokerage firm and mutual fund company.
The company, which made the ads in-house, plans to unveil more ads on the device when Wired magazine launches its iPad application later this year.
Speros said that because the company hadn’t had the device in hand until recently, Fidelity based the design of its ad on the ads it designed for the iPhone.
“All advertisers were flying somewhat blind,’’ he said.
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