This morning I read an article on Mashable about how the Angry Birds HD update for the iPad 2 now includes... ads!! Apparently users are complaining on iTunes that by virtue of paying $5 for the app, they should not have to endure these ads.
This is a prime example of what happens when you break the permission marketing model. Users revolt. In today's day and age they always will. They revolt because there is a sense of perceived unfairness. Users are smart, they know that certain apps are available for free because they are supported by an ad-model; however, they also know that - on the iTunes store - Angry Birds is not one of those apps! (Things are slightly different on the Android store). So what could the birds over at Rovio Mobile done differently here?
I can think of a few different things. Ultimately, Rovio's end goal is to clearly push the merchandise (because I'm guessing the margins are much higher there), so if that's the case... why not give the app away for free like they do on the Android store? Fine, I understand if they want to keep making money on the app... so how about informing the users before-hand that there will be ads on some new levels? Or ... adopt a Farmville model whereby you make money on in-game purchases (they tried this already with the Mighty Eagle, but I'm sure they can cook up a few more enticing purchases). It just seems strange to me why Rovio would suddenly impose ads on paying customers, hoping that customers would be ok with it.
If you are trying to promote something, think of ways you can get consumers to buy into your idea and genuinely want to learn more about it, rather than just force the idea upon them. Permission marketing 101.