We recently conducted a huge survey of over 1000 iPad users (the most comprehensive to date), and came up with some great data. Some confirmation of what we had suspected all along and some suprising finds. You can find our highlights of our iPad research here but here are some of the finds that I think are important.
Delve deeper into the data and you’ll found some real gems. So a large proportion of iPad owners (55%) are over 45, but a correspondingly large majority of iPads (62%) are used by entire households including, spouses, flat mates and children with the average iPad being used by over 2 people. Delivering a significantly larger audience than mere sales stats reveal.
So maybe this doesn’t strike you as a huge proportion of the population. Bearing in mind that this device, indeed this entire CATEGORY of device is only a year old this is pretty remarkable. Look again at the data and we find that 39 % of iPad owners are using their laptops less, 35% are using their desktop less and are watching 10% less television.
It’s conclusive, the iPad is a properly disruptive piece of technology. Owners are abandoning old forms of media (including so-called ‘new media’ like fixed line Internet) for this young, touchy feely, upstart that is the tablet computer. The data shows that the iPad is ‘kind of mobile’ but with most usage at home. 98% use it at home as opposed to 47% travelling or 19% commuting.
As publishers of iPad only magazine PROJECT, we have collated vast amounts of data about what works, what doesn’t in engaging audiences on the device but until you really know who your readers are it’s difficult to really draw conclusion about the future of this platform and it’s real potential for marketing and entertaining the a mainstream audience. The data has gone some way to completing the circle for us.
Someone asked me this question, just the other day. I have to say, I had to think carefully about the reply this time, because I was having a conversation with a person outside of the world of marketing.
So what is branded content? and are there any great examples around? What about the iPad?
Firstly, the definition? Well, “Wiki” says, Branded Content is essentially a “fusion of advertising and entertainment into one”, but it is “intended to be distributed as entertainment content”. I think this sounds a little misleading. It is essentially, and in my opinion, a marketing execution that is editorially-led, and funded by a brand, in part, or as a whole. It can take the form of a magazine, app, website and video production/ film/ TV programing etc.
First and foremost, it’s important to state here, that the branding or advertising element does not need to be hidden, or underhanded, in fact honesty is the best policy when it comes to the integration of the advertising message. I know, from experience in developing great branded content, giving your customer something for nothing, generally results in a high acceptance of receiving advertising or promotional messages. And furthermore this honesty bolsters the commercial outcome (in real £££’s).
Wikipedia also says branded content, as a concept has been around a long while. Specifically, 2001 has been heralded as the key date for the rise in popularity of branded content, as a key marketing technique. It was suggested that The Hire, a series of short films made by BMW, created, together with some of the worlds best directors ( distributed online & DVD) was the real turning point for branded content. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKYUtUw-8ig This then propelled other marketers into developing films, games, music, interactive content etc.
So from 2001, branded content was firmly (re)born, and has evolved greatly. So where is it going in terms of the tablet?
The most successful examples of branded content for the tablet, specifically the iPad, are unquestionably linked with the quality of content, relevancy to the reader, or intended audience, and notwithstanding those who have integrated a seamless editorial to sales journey.
Some of the better examples of branded content available on the iPad include:
A lovely, seductive, weekly iPad magazine app that includes content straight from their seasonal photo shoots, exclusive videos, and fashion tips and advice for the serious Fashionista.
I’ve downloaded it and the user experience works very well, plus it looks great. It also provides a simple way to shop, directly from some really inspiring layouts. For me it provides a nice marriage of catalogue, magazine and the web.
Stella MCartney: Stella’s World
Another fairly high production example with features like the “What’s News” section, that highlights the latest updates from Stella McCartney, including behind the scenes shows (the one I saw was in Paris – ooh, la, la) and also footage on an exclusive performance by Pharrell Williams and N*E*R*D at the after party, plus product. Other editorial features include “Stella’s Diary”, music by Brian Eno (I love him), a feature on Barry Reigate (Artist and illustrator, a really, really nice touch). For a launch issue, I think they have done a great job. The ability to buy from the app, would be even better.
Virgin: Project magazine: I could not help but throw this one into the ring.
It’s the first native international iPad magazine, and was launched in New York on 30th November 2010 by Sir Richard Branson. Project was confirmed as the #1 selling iPad app in the world in the App Store one day after launch, so that’s pretty impressive. It is a joint initiative between leading London-based strategic content agency, Seven and Virgin digital publishing.
This is a superb example of how to maximise the full potential of the iPad, particularly for advertisers. Brands have embraced the use of ‘physics’ within their advertising, which essentially allows readers to fully interact by touching, shaking and turning the device to produce uniquely engaging executions using live animations, video and online elements. Most notable examples are Amex, Ford and Lexus. You need to look at all the issues, to fully appreciate the leap.
And if you are like me and love hot Aussie heart stopper, Eric Bana, then go checkout issue 4, which is FREE, courtesy of a sponsorship with Amex.