Apple's iAd Takes on Google With Targeted Mobile Advertising

105151 iad icon

Bloomberg takes a look at Apple's new iAd platform and how the company is using its vast database of customer information to target advertising campaigns and get a leg up on Google in the mobile advertising space.

Relying on the music, videos and apps that customers are downloading from its iTunes, App Store and iBooks helps Apple sketch a behavioral profile that can be paired with appropriate promotional messages. On its website, Apple says its "standard targeting options" include demographics, application preferences, music passions, movie genre interests, television genre interests and location.

Google, which has made its search business in large part on its ability to deliver targeted ads, has similar capabilities to Apple, with its search results, email offerings, and Android platform serving as sources for customer information that it could use for targeting mobile ads. But what it doesn't have is access to Apple's ecosystem administered through the iTunes Store, a limitation that gives Apple a significant advantage on its own iOS platform that has reportedly surpassed 100 million devices sold.

Today's report points to Unilever's "Dove Men+Care" soap campaign, one of the launch iAd campaigns, as an example of Apple's iAd program in action.

Unilever, which began working with Apple in May on a campaign for its Dove Men+Care soap, is using iAd to zero in on married men who are in their late 30s and have children.

"Apple then overlays that with the iTunes information and targets quite well and quite surgically," said Rob Candelino, marketing director at Unilever, based in London and Rotterdam.

Apple doesn't share information on individuals, Candelino said. Instead, Unilever can choose to advertise in certain "buckets" of applications, such as those on news or entertainment, based on characteristics of its users.

Despite comments from Apple CEO Steve Jobs last month revealing that the company has already locked up $60 million in iAd commitments for the second half of this year, a number of questions remain about the program, ranging from privacy and antitrust concerns to worries about whether it can live up to the hype and deliver the kind of customer response advertisers are expecting and for which they are paying top dollar.

Popular Stories

USB C Over Lightning Feature

EU Passes Law to Switch iPhone to USB-C by End of 2024

Tuesday October 4, 2022 3:30 am PDT by
The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024. The proposal, known as a directive, forces all consumer electronics manufacturers who sell their products in Europe to ensure that a wide range of devices feature a USB-C port. This...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

10 New iOS 16 Features Coming Later This Year

Monday October 3, 2022 2:41 pm PDT by
iOS 16 was released to the public three weeks ago with a customizable Lock Screen, the ability to edit iMessages, improvements to Focus modes, and much more. And in the coming months, iPhone and iPad users have even more new features to look forward to. We've rounded up 10 new features coming to the iPhone and iPad later this year, according to Apple. Many of the features are part of iOS...
magsafe charger orange

Apple Releases New MagSafe Charger Firmware

Tuesday October 4, 2022 12:09 pm PDT by
Apple today released updated firmware for the MagSafe Charger that is designed to work with the iPhone 12 and later and the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 10M1821, up from the prior 10M229 firmware. Note that in the Settings app, you'll see a different version number than the firmware number, with the update displayed as version 255.0.0.0 (the prior firmware was 247.0.0.0). The...
maxresdefault

Video: AirPods Pro 2 vs. Bose QuietComfort II

Monday October 3, 2022 12:50 pm PDT by
Apple on September 23 officially launched the second-generation version of the AirPods Pro, introducing updated Active Noise Cancellation, Adaptive Transparency, improved sound, and more. Right around the same time, Bose introduced new QuietComfort II earbuds with many similar features, so we thought we'd compare the two to see which has the edge. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
General YouTube Feature 1

You May Soon Need to Be a YouTube Premium Subscriber to Watch 4K Videos

Monday October 3, 2022 4:29 am PDT by
YouTube may make watching videos in 4K quality on the platform exclusive to only YouTube Premium subscribers, according to screenshots posted by users on Twitter and Reddit. On Reddit (1,2) and Twitter, some users have started to recently notice that on iOS, and presumably across other platforms also, YouTube is now saying that in order to watch videos in 4K, the user must be a paying...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...