Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

From Ads To APPS

Early last year, we predicted 2008 to be the year of the widget. But with Vista struggling to take off, it looked like the prediction would turn out to be a turkey. Then came in the iPhone appstore that changed everything. Some 300 million downloads in just 21 weeks, poof!. Brands have been playing with apps for a while, the Carling iPint app was one of the early pieces that caught the eye. Now, according to AdAge, apps are replacing ads for many marketers. In lieu of banner ads, advertisers increasingly are building mobile applications that provide contained brand experiences along with a usefulness that keeps users interacting with the brand, writes Rita Chang. In the past month, brands such as Kraft, Nike, Gap, REI and Friskies have built applications for everything from planning a dinner menu to downloading snow reports. Unlike microsites that fade away after a few days and weeks, apps have the ability to stay useful to people who have downloaded them for months and years. Done right, apps have the ability to provide utilitarian value that goes beyond the brand message. Apps also fit in from the point of view of the changed consumer, who is happy to co-create and personalise things that attract their attention. So if there is an app that you can build, that could fit into people’s lives in some tangible way, go on, make it available to people, and they will come. More in AdAge. Also read this story from Textually.org.

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