Project Magazine is a Defining Advertising Experience on the iPad

The advertising experience on personal devices, such as the iPad or mobile devices in general, has been a pathetic regurgitation of the same banner crap that exists on the web today. Apple attempted to change the game with iAd and bring a personalized, interactive advertising environment to their devices, but adoption has been slow. It is debatable on whether or not this is due to a low rate of adoption by Madison Avenue, or simple sideline to the “hey, I still make money from banner clicks” economy.

The Daily (iTunes Link), attempted to bring a professional journalism staff, the work flow of a traditional daily newspaper, a subscription model, and an advertising model to the iPad as an iPad-only publication. While the journalism has been mostly above average, the advertising fails so badly, it often makes me cringe to even open this app in the first place. And I very much wanted to see this succeed as both an app and source of news succeed in major way.

For the first time in over a year of using my iPad as a content consumption device – to differ it from a birds vs. pigs genocide and destruction device – I found an ad that actually made me stop skimming the part that pays the bills and pay attention. And obviously as a result, to pen this post.

Pebble Beach ad in Project Magazine

I’m a regular reader of Project Magazine (iTunes Link) – a Virgin Media publication. The magazine is one of the best out there for iPad-based publication. I happily shell out my $3 for every new issue and easily find a good couple of hours reading/experiencing out of every issue.

But the latest issue had an ad for Pebble Beach Resorts, set between stories, that pretty much defined what a successful advertising experience should be in tablet devices. The top third was a simple, understated video presentation that doesn’t hit you in the face with an audio track. It starts with a low volume and gets to a conversational volume over the course of few seconds. The voiceover is well written and produced along with the video. A lot of value is given to supporting ad content as well, from well written headline and copy, to a call to action that jumps you to a landing page (within an in-app-based browser) that supports the ad. In fact, the first time I came across it, my iPad was muted and I started it over with sound enabled just because the way the video supported the ad completely.

In case you want to check it out yourself, this is US issue 8, after the surfing story. Or take a look at the full-size image, by clicking the thumbnail.

If you know who produced the ad, I’d love to give them credit as well, hit me up via the Tips email or in the comments.



About Shawn Hartley

Creative technologist by day. VP at Corporate 3 Design in Omaha. Proud father and husband.