Targetability of iPhone App Ads

We all know Apple uses the iPhone to sell applications at the App Store, but what about the notion Apple is using applications to sell the iPhone at the Apple Store? Last night, while watching episode 2 of Top Chef, the iPhone commercial promoting the UrbanSpoon app appeared twice.

UrbanSpoon

Given the content of the show and the given audience, this ad is extremely relevant. The question is whether this ad is to push the Urban Spoon application, the iPhone or both. Based on the fact that Apple makes no money on this free application, it is safe to assume Apple is using the vast collection of applications to make a compelling case for why you should purchase an iPhone. The use of application as creative messaging gives great possibility to how targeted the ads can be.

The Top Chef audience is presumably composed of early adopters with high HHI who think they are trendsetters within their community, especially with regard to restaurants. This is essentially the exact person who would use UrbanSpoon on an iPhone or the type of person to buy an iPhone to use apps like UrbanSpoon.

The possibilities for targeting based on relevant content begin there and are endless. The Live Poker app during ESPN’s World Series of Poker or Monday Night Football. Google Earth app during Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth. The list can go on and on. While this might not be the most cost efficient form of advertising for TV, it makes a lot more sense for video or rich media banners on websites.

Apple has used the iPhone’s features to sell iPhones from the very start, but unlike most products new features (useful, engaging applications) are added daily, giving more and more reasons to buy the iPhone.

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