Apple Watch’s small screen challenges brands to create teeny tiny advertising
On the contrary, most probably salivate at the prospect of slipping their logo into such an intimate vantage point in people’s lives — a device that necessitates 24-7 wear with a prime placement in constant line of sight, not to mention a trove of personal data to get to know you better.
But the danger, as advertisers are all too well aware, is that the closer their capacity to barge into potential customers’ lives, the angrier those customers can get if they botch the attempt. The extra-small screen size comes with extra-short patience for cumbersome ads.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Cole Sletten, a creative director at digital ad agency Ready Set Rocket. “It can provide a really compelling personal experience. But used poorly, it will absolutely turn people off.”
Another challenge is defining how big the audience would be on an Apple Watch.
Winston Binch, chief digital officer for North America at ad agency Deutsch, said he’s enamored of his own Apple Watch, but he only recommends the product in its current form to avid athletes or tech lovers. Enthusiasm has ebbed since its high-profile launch in April, he said, but it’s far too early to count the watch out.
That last note of optimism is echoed by most advertisers that Mashable talked to — and most Apple Watch loyalists in general — who are quick to point out that the first iPhones didn’t really take off in sales until the App Store was introduced a year later.
But focusing only on the Apple Watch alone is almost besides the point, according to Chia Chen, Digitas’ head of product and development. The ads industry is undergoing a fundamental shift from display ads that talk at customers to an ad that is almost a product unto itself, and — flop or not — the Apple Watch is right in line with that thinking.
“It used to be that ads were kind of about images, sounds and copy,” Chen said. “In the world of connected devices, it’s much more about how do we figure out how to express the brand as pieces of software.”
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