A conundrum; that’s what Apple’s upcoming smartwatch is for advertisers. They don’t know how they can tap the enticing and amazing possibilities offered by this tiny yet powerful gadget and present it to customers without overwhelming them with it. This week, at the Consumer Electronics Show being held in Las Vegas, TapSense, a mobile-marketing firm plans to release an ad-buying service for Apple Watch. This service will offer an insight into how ads can be served up on the watch by different businesses, even though the device itself is expected to be launched later this year.
The problem is that the same features of the watch that make it exciting for Madison Avenue can also end up alienating the customers. For instance, the device can detect when potential customers are approaching a store and deliver an ad directly to their wrist to tap them in. Apple Inc. itself did not comment about the usefulness of the watch for advertisers. Moreover, the company will not be in attendance officially at the CES. However, a number of companies that provide services and devices centered on the iPhone maker’s products will be attending. This includes several companies that are using a software-development tool called WatchKit released by the company in November.
According to Ash Kumar, chief executive of TapSense, this tool enables developers to build applications tailored to the Apple smartwatch. With the aid of this tool, Apple Watch ad formats are being devised by developers, which include interactive wallpapers for the watch dial such as personalized clock faces and brand logos. With his product, developers will be able to insert ads in those apps that are bought and sold instantly. The main screen of the watch will display several tiny icons including those for email, time, weather and some of the favorite retail and service apps.
These apps can be used by bsuinesses for sending notifications to consumers about special deals, but only within apps that are already opened. Otherwise, there will be a risk that the ad introduced by the vendor will annoy the customer as it will interrupt whatever they are doing. If a transit app is being used by a customer on the watch in order to monitor delays, then a marketing offer can be inserted by an advertiser that’s concerned with a deal at a café nearby or a ride sharing service, which will light up the face of the watch.
However, the key is moderation. Research shows that banner ads and push notifications on smartphones are a major turn off. It is advised by some marketers to avoid displaying ads to customers who typically click out of them and not to display the same ads very frequently. An analyst said that people will take the smartwatch off if they feel that it is becoming a spam box. Even though global positioning hasn’t been offered by Apple on the watch, the location-based features offered by applications can still be used by advertisers for targeting new customers as the watch will be connected to a smartphone.