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Tablets: The Future of (Digital) Advertising

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By Cameron Yuill

(eM+C)—It’s the attack of the tablet. Selling at an incredible rate since the launch of the iPad in 2010, tablets are rapidly changing digital advertising. In fact, we’re about to experience a new golden age of advertising. It’s content (and advertising) on-demand wherever you are. It’s swipeable, slideable, pinchable, zoomable and scrollable, too. It’s tactile.

So what sets the tablet apart for an advertiser? Larger than a smartphone and more personal than a TV screen, tablets and the growing technology surrounding them offer a whole new world of advertising possibilities. Video on a decent screen size with high-resolution (that’s mobile) provides a much richer experience. As a result, more and more people are consuming content on tablets.

The tactility of the tablet offers advertisers the chance to engage users in a physical way that’s more intriguing than simply digesting information on a screen. Not only will ads become more interactive, but advertising will take advantage of targeted demographics, location, movement, high-resolution screens, video and personalization.

Consumers aren’t heading to web pages to look at ads; they want the content they searched for. With tablet capabilities such as over-the-page ad units, advertising messages can be conveyed without taking consumers away from their content.

This change can’t be understated. For years, marketers have tried desperately to get consumers to click away from content to view their ads. They’ve tried every trick in the book. Animated monkeys you can punch, pop-unders that spawn pop-overs and promises of free iPads if you just “click here” have all contributed to consumers developing “ad blindness.” People look at a web page and block out the ads — even the good ones.

Now with tablets marketers can offer consumers the opportunity to enjoy their ads without fear of ending up in a death spiral of clicks resulting in the original content they were searching for somehow going missing because they clicked on an ad. Put simply, if consumers are confident they can return to their content by simply sliding an ad shut, they’ll begin to open ads. It’s called engagement!

Furthermore, tablet ads can be containers of content, offering consumers the chance to engage and learn more about a product or service on a deeper level without ever taking them away from their content.

Here’s my call to advertisers: this is your last chance to get it right. Let’s agree to make tablet ads engaging, enthralling and exciting — without forcing the consumer to leave the content they came to view. We’re teetering on the brink of what could be the golden age of advertising. With incredible possibilities for targeted, personalized and engaging digital advertising (finally) in sight, let’s not screw it up.

Cameron Yuill is the founder of AdGent Digital, a digital media technology company that specializes in reaching and delivering a premium audience via proprietary display, video and tablet advertising platforms. Cameron can be reached @camyuill.

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