Are iPad Ads More Effective Than Print Ads?
For magazine advertisers, extending their campaign into an iPad edition has always been a 'nice to have' rather than a 'must have'. But there are trends which are making tablet advertising increasingly attractive to advertisers.Firstly, advertisers have more options at their fingertips every month. Grazia is the latest magazine to announce an iPad edition, with a launch expected in the Autumn, joining existing players like Vogue, Elle UK and Wired.Secondly, publishers are really starting to get their heads around the potential of the format. Take Vogue's September 2012 iPad issue, which enables readers to interact with exclusive videos and images, including a chance to go behind the scenes of Lucinda Chambers' and Nick Knight's Olympic fashion moment with backstage images featuring Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.And Grazia are producing something different too. They've promised additional interactive and video content on top of the core content of the weekly magazine. In addition, readers will be able to buy direct from the magazines influential fashion pages and share content with friends and family via social plugins.And advertisers are starting to grasp the nettle. Vogue's September issue features 3 video and rich media ads - for Anya Hindmarch, Velvet by Graham & Spencer and Australian Wool - as well as 26 website links for the likes of Pandora, Kurt Geiger, Burberry and Clarins.But perhaps the most convincing reason is the weight of research starting to build up behind the effectiveness of iPad ads within magazines compared to their print editions.Previous studies have been too narrow or publisher-led, but research published by Affinity's syndicated Vista Service in the US found quite marked differences between the performance of ads in Sports Illustrated's iPad Swimsuit edition when compared to its print equivalent.Ad recall was found to be 21% higher in the iPad edition versus the print version, with reader actions - including visiting an advertiser's website, having a more favourable opinion of the brand or clicking on an ad - 34% higher. Readers viewing the iPad edition were almost twice as likely to visit an advertiser's website after seeing their ad than those reading the offline version.Of course, many questions still remain. For example, did the platform explain the difference in performance or was it the nature of the iPad reader, given their greater affluence and predisposition to purchase online? What impact did the nature of the advertising play, and what part is the 'novelty' of iPad advertising playing in the observed uplift?What's for sure is that advertising in magazines' iPad editions isn't about to replace advertising in their print editions. iPad penetration is still estimated to be below 10% and iPad edition circulations are still well below their print counterparts. Magazine print advertising is still required to deliver the desired reach and frequency.However, iPad advertising offers the best of the world's of digital and print - combining the interactivity, measurability and 'clickability' of digital ads with the highly targeted and committed readership that print can deliver but online versions, with their limited content, can't promise.As iPad circulations increase and premium & luxury advertisers increase their investment in interactive content, so the case for freeing budget for iPad edition advertising becomes increasingly a matter of 'must' rather than 'nice to.'