With apologies to Lennon and McCartney, “I read the news today oh boy. About a lucky man who made the grade. And though the news was rather sad, the advertising on his Watch was oh so bad.”
Wait. What? Advertising is coming to the Watch? If Apple stays in character, no. But advertising is all about gathering eyeballs, and that’s what you use to view Watch in all its glory, so, someday in the future some kind of advertising and promotion is likely to reach out and touch you, whether you like it or long for it or not.
The Eyeball Counters
Mac360 runs fewer advertisements now than ever, and we’re about to trim that number by 25 to 40-percent. Ads, of course, are necessary in the modern digital world to help pay the freight. It’s a necessary evil, right?
Already websites you view on Safari, Chrome, or Firefox on your Mac are loaded with advertisements. Many popular sites which track the Apple-sphere display six to a dozen ads per page.
iPhone and iPad are not immune from the scourge of visible advertising, either. Many free applications support themselves by embedding ads within the apps. Your eyeballs and clicks and touches mean money.
Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch, folks.
Even Apple sells ads (Mac, iPhone and iPad apps in their respective stores; free just doesn’t mean what it used to mean). Advertising agencies have recognized the obvious. Eyeballs are moving from Macs and PCs to smartphones and tablets and now to smartwatches– and advertisers and advertisements must follow.
Android-based smartwatches already have advertisements that pop up and take over the entire smartwatch screen. We’re entering the age of digital wearable advertising (t-shirts and brand logos are analog and so 1969). Digital advertising in 2015 is as much about the ad message as it is about the personal data being scraped from device users. On Android, it’s possible for applications to track your location, expenditures, and with smartwatches, your heart rate, too– and much, much more.
Based upon your location a smartwatch advertisement could alert you to Blue Light Specials at whatever store you’re in at the moment, thanks to Bluetooth and iBeacon. It’s more than possible and downright probable that walking up to the checkout counter will get you beeps, alerts, notifications to buy a candy bar now, pick up milk, or get a discount by having a coupon scanned at checkout.
This isn’t pie-in-the-sky dreaming or Skynet fear mongering. It’s reality, it’s something wicked and coming this way soon. Compared to the free-for-all and wasteland that is Android, Apple is Disneyland. Macs don’t come with advertising stickers. iPhone and iPad advertisements are subtle, not blatant. And while Watch may not see in-your-face advertising, it’s likely that retail store applications will be set to send you in-your-face (literally) notifications as you walk down the aisle at Target.