The iPad, Marketing and Advertising…

So. Much. LOLz.

There’s been a lot of noise about how the iPad is The Way Of The Future. In fact, just today there was a post on Twitter that read “Are you an art director, copywriter, creative director, strat planner? DON’T have an iPhone/iPad? Yr job’s on the line.” (courtesy of @royblumenthal)

A little melodramatic, I think. In fact, I think all the brouhaha about the iPad is a little more hype than substance. It’s not a game-changer to the exclusion of everything else. Instead, it’s an evolution. It’s the 2nd sign of a solid step towards the way things will be. The Kindle was the first sign.

Actually, that’s not even true.

The first sign was a scratching on a wall in a cave millennia ago (or someone nibbling on an apple if you’re a creationist). And since then our knowledge has evolved. The way we do anything – communicate, travel, consumer, trade – all of it has evolved. The iPad is just the next step in the evolutionary path of personal devices.

And in itself, the iPad’s ubiquity is not guaranteed. The iPhone hasn’t put Nokia or Samsung or Sony Ericsson out of business yet. The iPod hasn’t killed the millions of other MP3 players developed in little Chinese factories. Guaranteed, there will be more devices like the iPad. And as we adjusted from print to radio to TV to web, so we will adjust to the iPad…and its clones.

Will the iPad change the way we do advertising and marketing? No. As we’ve discovered with social media, the fundamentals of good marketing and advertising are always the same. Yes, we’ll evolve these to match the needs of the iPad and whatever devices follow it, but we won’t throw out the baby with the bathwater because as human beings we haven’t evolved past the fundamentals of our own wants and needs.

Bottom line: the secret doesn’t lie in knowing how the new toy works. It lies in knowing how to communicate with the people using that toy. It will always be relevance over technology.

A little something extra:

I can hear the Apple-Fanboys weeping from here…

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3 thoughts on “The iPad, Marketing and Advertising…

  1. Hmmmmmmm…

    An evolutionary step? Just an evolutionary step? That’s ‘old-paradigm’ thinking.

    The reason iPad and iPhone are game-changers has little to do with what they are NOW. It’s about where we go from here.

    Fundamentally, the advertising industry is a thrashing brontosaurus mired in a bog, with a broken hip and shattered teeth. It still makes a noise. Every now and again, it’s cunning enough to shut up, be still, and lure a small creature or two within reach.

    So the advertising industry is still alive. But dehydration and malnutrition are setting in.

    The iPad is the finisher for the industry AS WE KNOW IT. Which I’m glad about.

    Frankly, the ad industry ran out of juice about 20 years ago. Now, ad agencies compete with each other to tell increasingly more threadbare lies to an increasingly cleverer, more cynical, more skeptical audience.

    The way iPad delivers the kill-shot is through iAds. This reconceptualises what advertising is. It’s not simply another Google replica. It’s not just another way of serving banner ads. It’s demographically souped-up product-placement meets entertainment meets direct response meets viral marketing meets crowd-sourcing meets fuck-you-ad-industry.

    And please believe me… I’m not a buyer of the hype. I’m not even an Apple fanboy. In fact, I don’t personally own a single Apple product. Not one. (My girlfriend, however, is a fanboy. She owns a Mac, an iPod, another Mac, and an iPhone.)

    I’m NOT looking at this with a fanboy’s glamour-gleam. I’m looking at it as the culmination of a whole bunch of trends. As soon as media became portable and decentralised, unhooked from tv networks, removed from publishers and record companies, two things started happening. Artists started taking control of their own products. And consumers started exercising extreme choice in what they consumed.

    iPad takes those two trends and severs the links completely. The ONLY way advertisers will be able to reach their audiences is through an entirely new way of relating to the individuals within those audiences.

    And that communication has to happen through devices LIKE the iPad.

    While the iPad won’t be the only machine of its kind, it is RIGHT NOW. And Apple commands the market. The other devices planned right now belong to the old paradigm. Which means they’re NOT going to be the powerful Apple-challengers we’re all expecting.

    It’s only by embracing the new paradigm that advertising industry whores will be able to work out how to re-invent. Clinging to the old paradigm guarantees only one thing… Self-destruction.

    Get an iPad or an iPhone. Start inventing new ways of comunicating NOW. You’re running out of time.

  2. PS: The Kindle is not a new-paradigm tool. It’s simply a teched-up version of the old-paradigm book. It isn’t even analogous to a magazine. At least a magazine has some kind of multimedia capability.

    So, while I really really really want a Kindle, I simply want it to replace my phone as an eReader. Which is a replacement for paper books.

    iPad is not a Kindle-continuance. It’s a disruptor. There is nothing like it extant today. And it’ll hold this position for at least a year.

    Android can’t approach the potency yet. And Android is literally the only technology that has the potential to match what Apple’s doing with the iPad.

    But Apple knows we’re in a paradigm shift. It’s what they do. It’s what they’re good at. Android is Google’s luck-child. And I don’t think Google knows much about paradigm shifts at all. I think they’re good current-paradigm exploiters and not much more.

  3. i think what our batrachian brother means is until we learn to make our own clothes and build our own cars in our own vegetable patched backyards, there will be a market of choice to exploit for ‘advertising whores’ – via cavewall, tel.booth postcard, ipad – it don’t matter.

    the medium isn’t the message, a good idea was, is and always will be.

    and learning how the new toy on the block works does not require a paradigm shift, it requires a bottle of wine on a tuesday night with an onlione tutorial (or ‘gasp!’ a written instruction booklet)

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