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Can Apple bring emotion to advertising on the web?

April 16, 2010

Web advertising isn’t very emotional. Unless by web advertising, we mean TV ads that are placed on YouTube.

Because TV is emotional.

Of the tools in the marketers toolbox, nothing has ever had the impact of TV. Even the most cynical amongst us can think of a TV spot that made us tear up or put a lump in the throat. Other spots simply generate the kind of emotion that makes us think. This ad did it for me.

Anyway, that’s TV. And it’s not a banner ad. Banner ads don’t create emotion, unless one counts annoyed as an emotion.

Flash can help to tell a story, but people are generally annoyed by flash, so we’re back to that as the emotion.

Enter Apple. Specifically iAD.

In the keynote posted below, Steve Jobs talks about ads online. He makes some points about digital advertising that we’ve heard before. Online advertising isn’t very good — even though it is very interactive. Indeed, all banner ads can be clicked. Banner ads, and interactive ads in general can do more than just be clicked. They can be interacted with, touched, moved, expanded. Interactivity can be limitless. But they aren’t that good.

Because they can’t communicate emotion. We’re not there yet. And that’s the true reason that brands have yet to be built online. Brands aren’t built by being touched. They are build when they touch consumers. And TV is so far the only thing that does that well.

But maybe, just maybe, iAD can help.

I took this screen shot from the YouTube video below. In it, Steve Jobs talks about emotion and interactivity. TV does emotion, but doesn’t do interactivity. And web ads do interactivity but suck at emotion. He thinks he can get to the little dot on this graph.

It’s not in my nature to bet against Apple. I’m not only a user of many of the products, I’m also a shareholder of a few shares. So I hope he’s right for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that iAds could make the web a whole lot more fun.

Here’s the entire keynote. What do you think? Is this pie in the sky? Or can we add emotion to digital advertising?

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