Magazines on iPad? Yes. Brands on iPad? Not So Much.


Turns out the iPad is gaining wide adoption among magazines, but not nearly as much by brand marketers. According to Advertising Age, there are “only a handful of iPad branded apps” that are not from media companies out of the 11,000 iPad applications.

While the iPad got off to a good start in April with a glowing review from The Wall Street Journal‘s influential tech columnist, Walt Mossberg, the device still appears to be positioned as more of a replacement for or enhancement to magazines. Advertising Age reports that sales of 3.27 million iPad devices probably account for the lack of brand interest; iPhones and iPods dominate the 100-million device market.

That doesn’t mean brands are avoiding the iPad altogether. In fact, some of the notable brands that have developed apps especially for iPad are E-Trade, Gap, JC Penney, Kraft, Nike ID, Pottery Barn, and Weber’s.

At only $1.99 to download, Kraft’s app, “Big Fork Little Fork,” does a particularly good job of leveraging iPad’s larger screen – using the size and the touch capability to create an interactive experience. Consumers can call up a virtual library of 300 recipes, along with games, how-to videos, and other interactive elements. Kraft partnered with Meredith Integrated Marketing to enrich the content, which will refresh on a periodic basis.
While more branded iPad apps may be on the way, some experts suggest that “the era of the brand app is over.” Chris Cunningham, CEO of agency AppSavvy, tells Advertising Age, “The industry has become more education of the pros and cons of building apps vs. sponsoring. Leveraging an existing app is a much safer bet because there already is an installed user base.”

Still, if the iPad user base keeps growing, it may well gain the critical mass necessary to attract a lot more brand advertisers.



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