Today, Apple launched an iPhone app called iAd Gallery. It lets you browse through a gallery of ads. Take a second and read this again from the beginning.
This is either a gigantic waste of time and money ... or ... it is pure genius. I like to consider myself an optimist so for the rest of this short post I will explain why I think it's the latter. Here are my reasons:
1. Permission - This is an app... meaning... you have to choose to download it. Unless you are the type of person to go on a downloading spree and click anything in the store, you will be fully aware that all this app contains... is marketing! Downloading this means you are specifically choosing to devote your time to engage with marketing! To marketers, this is what dreams are made of.
2. Lovemarks - A term coined by Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts. Why is it relevant here? Although they are not lovemarks in the traditional sense, if you take a look at the app itself (for all non-iPhone users, the Business Insider had a nice walk-through gallery), you will notice there are literally 'lovemarks' at the top right-hand corner of each ad. If you click this lovemark, the ad gets stored in an area called 'loved.' I know you're probably thinking this is some kind of late April Fool's joke but it's really not. What if marketers could get stats on how many people "loved" their ad in relation to how many people downloaded the app?
3. Future - An ad search engine? This point may seem a little flighty but I guess one can always dream. What if, this app became a sort of search engine for ads. Basically, what would happen is you would type in some of your interests and then the iAd Gallery would serve up some ads that are relevant to you. Based on your interests and your 'loved' ads, the iAd Gallery would be able to provide you with some seriously targeted ads. For marketers - the iAd Gallery would be able to provide specific information about the consumers who are choosing certain ads, giving marketers deeper insight into the psyche of their tribe.
I really cannot wait to see what the future holds for this app. I'm hoping that it will transform the way companies think about mobile marketing on the iOS platform and perhaps give rise to a new model of marketing.