Apple Advertisers Treading with Caution

watchapple2This year’s shiny big thing, the Apple Watch, may be lackluster in the sales department, but it has advertisers talking about entirely new ways to connect with customers in that tiny, personal space on one’s arm.

“Because of the razor-thin tolerance that most people have for ads, making them appealing on an Apple Watch is going to take some creativity,” notes Patrick Kulp in Mashable.

Advertisers seem to get this, with Kulp noting that “most advertisers agree that if there is a way to win the hearts and minds of watch wearers, it won’t be through clunky pop-up display ads.”

The real danger, he notes, “is that the closer their capacity to barge into potential customers’ lives, the angrier those customers can get if they botch the attempt. The extra-small screen size comes with extra-short patience for cumbersome ads.”

The companies that are beginning to dabble in this murky water – including Starbucks and some of the airlines – are using their ads “to shortcut parts of their customer service, injecting an extra dose of ease,” Kulp explains.

One industry experts says it’s a mistake to think of the watch as “just another platform for ads.” Instead, brands should look at this as another way to connect with customers, according to Eugene Chung of digital ad agency Firstborn. Given the amount of personal data available to advertisers, including pinpoint locations, they really ought to be able to get targeting right if nothing else.

The fact that advertisers are clearly thinking this one over carefully bodes well for wearers, even if sales of the device are not setting the world on fire.  Meanwhile, we’ll take our ads in print, thanks, and keep them off our wrists.