The Apple Watch hasn’t even hit the market yet, and we’ve already figured out how to put ads on it.
Mobile ad exchange TapSense has developed the first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch. This platform contains the SDK kit for app developers and and programmatic APIs for brands, agencies, and marketers.
In addition, the TapSense pledges to offer a range of interactive formats, not just boring old banner ads. Ad buyers will also be able to take advantage of hyper-local targeting features and integration with Apple Pay.
TapSense released a mockup of what the ads will look like, with this discount coupon ad for coffee:
“While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next generation platforms,” said Ash Kumar, co-founder and CEO of TapSense. “Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”
This is obviously some exciting news for marketers looking to get ahead of the competition when it comes to new advertising channels. But the reality is that advertising on the Apple Watch is fraught with problems. It’s a tiny screen that simply doesn’t lend itself well to advertising messages. Real estate is limited and the chances of annoyance with a pop-up ad are higher. TapSense has said it will offer more interactive formats than just banner ads, but it hasn’t elaborated on what those will look like. At the most, users will tolerate an in-app message that is targeted to them depending on their location, but full screen banner ads with a difficult to locate close button (like the one pictures above) look increasingly unpalatable.