The Daily iPad app: 4 tips to push advertising to the next level

Much is being written about The Daily, the new iPad news app from Rupert Murdoch and team at News Corp. After a quick spin through Day 2, here are some thoughts about a topic I’ve focused on this year in print redesigns as well: advertising. Though it does have some interactive bells and whistles, much of The Daily looks and feels like a print newspaper or news magazine, right down to its placement of ads (even if they start moving when you click or swipe). Here are some free suggestions for News Corp to push advertising forward. The least I could do for two free weeks of The Daily! Here goes:

  • Offer a quicker entry point for the advertisements, maybe a SPONSORS link in the topline menu, if only for a few weeks. For this thing to survive longer than The National did, advertisers will have to pay for it. Celebrate our new shining era of ad content that is interactive, desirable, viral, by giving sponsors more of a showcase entry point. Don’t just ghetto-ize them and bury them between (or at the end of) specific pages. That’s old-school!

The Daily iPad app Table of Contents screen: Plenty of room to add "SPONSORS" in the menu at top, and of course, an ad module down-page as well. Click to enlarge.

  • Place a sponsor ad on the Table of Contents, even a static one – it’s premium real estate. Write and design it as something really enticing – as you should be doing with your editorial matter here as well.
  • To take this further,  consider a secondary TOC page just for the advertisers. The time is right for this – NOW. Our culture is interested in advertising now more than ever. As we head toward Super Bowl Sunday in just a few days, attention is heightened this week on the impact of advertising, with everyone wondering, who’s doing something cool, new, outrageous, different in the area of commercials. Not just media critics and consultants, but the general population is attuned to this. Perfect time for a tablet news app to jump on that bandwagon – celebrate the presence of advertising the way the Big Game does. (Hey, it’s broadcast on Fox, so you’d think they’d get that here.)
  • In the coming weeks, help your advertisers up their game. Have viewers vote on their favorite ads. Celebrate those that go viral. Where it makes sense, give us fun video sidebars on “how they made the commercial.” Reward those app viewers (users?) who dive deep into your ads, with Easter eggs, prizes, free offers, something more. Don’t just rely on your sponsors to up their game – you should be pushing them to the next level. Look at Fox’s own Super Bowl coverage for inspiration. Why not? News publishing is an advertising game, even if we journalists preferred to think of it as our own for all these years.

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