By Steve Puttock, managing director, London at Schawk & Rick Evans, creative director at Untitled London, Schawk’s digital division
Newspaper and magazine publishers see the rise of the tablet as a huge opportunity. The market is experiencing meteoric growth, with sales of tablets predicted to exceed 81 million units in 2012.
Apple and Amazon both broke records for tablet sales this Christmas. What’s interesting is that recent research shows that tablet consumption of news is a significant activity for those that own one, with 53% accessing news daily this way.
Not only that, as most tablet owners keep their device at home, publishers have the chance to reach larger audiences through multiple readership.
This exciting development is not only important for publishers, but for advertisers too. Advertising on tablet-served newspapers and magazines holds fantastic potential for driving the kind of real consumer engagement and sales that we can only dream of with print advertising. There is also the prospect of driving the consumer to download the app and shop/ respond straight away.
However, it is still early days. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), mobile advertising (including tablets) accounts for 3% of digital advertising revenues, but big brands such as Barclays, Audi, Carphone Warehouse and Travelex are actively using this media. It is currently of particular interest for reaching a more affluent audience of men in their late twenties to mid forties. As the market matures and prices come down, though, its potential for reaching a bigger broader audience will make it more attractive to a variety of brands.
So how do marketers optimise their press advertising for tablets? There are a number of creative and practical issues that they need to take into account. Simply using the same press ad as used in print will not unleash the potential that they hold.
As for any medium, it is important to include tablet advertising in your planning early on so you can ensure that it is fully integrated into your overall campaign thinking and so you can make the most of tablets’ specific functionality, size and usage.
You need to bear in mind that, not only are there a growing number of different tablet screen sizes and resolutions, there is also the issue that tablets can be viewed in both landscape or portrait at will. Ads therefore need to be designed to work in both orientations and both landscape and portrait ad layouts need to be supplied.
It’s important to plan for the variety of tablet sizes available and adapt the design of your press ad to the exact resolution of each tablet (e.g. the iPad is 1024 x 768) to ensure that images always appear in the correct resolution. Similarly font sizes must be large enough to be legible. Once you’ve created your tablet ads make sure you proof them on the tablet rather than on the computer screen as ads can look very different in different environments.
There’s nothing worse after the blood sweat and tears of campaign development than seeing a badly reproduced ad – and what it does for the brand values you’ve worked so hard to build!
The functionality of tablets lends itself to a much more dynamic experience than print can ever achieve, making users more likely to engage with, and respond to, advertising that incorporates interactive elements. You may therefore also want to consider a very different interpretation of your press ad with the inclusion of rich media elements such as embedded video, games, 360 degree product viewing, animations and links to social media.
Currently tablets are mainly used at home so location-based content, such as store locators, has limited benefit but is likely to become more valuable in time. To get inspiration, see Pepsi Max’s excellent video on its creation of an iPad ad which appeared in The Daily tablet newspaper in the US. Don’t forget, though, that iPads don’t support Flash.
Another important factor to remember is that tablets allow advertisers to provide much more content than in print and TV advertising so links through to additional information online such as top tips on how to use a product, an in-depth guide etc can be hugely valuable.
Essentially, with tablets, press advertising now has the opportunity to reinvent itself – with high quality, engaging, creative ads that go way beyond the static page.
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