Apple Watch Opens A New Frontier For Advertisers

Last week, venture capitalist Fred Wilson sparked a new controversy when he predicted that the forthcoming Apple Watch “will not be a home run” like the iPhone, iPad and iPod. A recent study conducted by Quartz revealed that only 5% of the U.S. iPhone users were interested in buying Apple Watch. It was among the top inventions of 2014. Only time will tell whether the new smartwatch will be a monster success or a total flop upon launch. But the device poses a conundrum for advertisers.


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Apple won’t attend the CES

Advertisers are looking for ways to tap into the immense possibilities of Apple Watch without overwhelming users with ads. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, mobile-marketing firm TapSense will release its ad-buying service for Apple Watch, reports Reuters. It will show how advertisers can serve up ads on the tiny smartwatch.

The biggest challenge before advertisers is that qualities that make a smartwatch exciting may also risk alienating customers. For instance, the ability to detect users approaching a store and shoot an ad to their wrists can turn off users. Apple will not attend the CES, but several companies making devices and services around its products will be there.

How will ads work on Apple Watch?

Using the Cupertino company’s WatchKit tool, developers are making ad formats for Apple Watch. TapSense CEO Ash Kumar told Reuters that developers had devised interactive wallpapers on the gadget dial with personalized clock faces and brand logos. Advertisers could use already opened apps to notify customers of special deals. But banner ads and push notifications could be a big turnoff.

If an Apple Watch user is interested in an ad and raises the wrist to take a better look, the ad notification will expand to take up more room on the screen. TapSense said a disinterested user could tap the “X” mark to exit the ad. Brands hope that the Apple Watch would overcome the challenges that have hindered the success of location-based ads on mobile phones.

Apple shares fell 1.48% to $107.71 at 10:53 AM EST on Monday.