Guest Column: Best Practices for Advertising on Tablets
But this is all changing. As magazines shift from print replicas to editions that are enhanced with additional content, rich media and interactivity, the ads that appear in those magazines tend to mirror that level of interactivity.
The Bad and the Ugly …
If we look at market trends alone, the picture for advertising on tablets seems rosy! So what’s the BAD? And what’s the UGLY?
The answer is in the tablet-related disruption of the advertising production workflow. Ads for tablets are, for the most part, produced by the same staff that produces print advertising. But for the new format, new layers of content and rich media need to be produced and integrated. New tools are required, and new workflows emerge. Sure, print portals can still be employed when tablet ads are straight-from-print. But what happens when ads are enhanced?
Today there is no “compiled format” like a PDF that can be used to deliver a final enhanced tablet ad to publishers. Print portals cannot be employed. And, in fact, publishers have had to assign their production staff to assemble the pieces of an ad before it can be placed in the digital magazine and before the magazine app can be finalized. There is no standard mechanism for the agency to communicate with the publisher about how the pieces of the enhanced ad should be re-assembled on the publisher side. And proofing remains ad hoc and problematic. UGLY!
In addition there is the very basic issue of how publishers are developing ad specs. A recent IDEAlliance survey found that each publisher developed their own ad specs and that specs across publishers for ads on the same device varied widely. Often a publisher’s different magazine titles had different ad specs, in a different format, using different nomenclature!