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Apple investigating contextual advertisements, coupons on iPhone

post #1 of 13
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Future iPhones could present advertisements or discount coupons to users based on their current location or activity, through a variety of methods including RFID, in order to increase the effectiveness of the promotion.

Apple's description of a superior advertising technique is described in a patent application revealed this week, entitled "System and method for providing contextual advertisements according to a dynamic pricing scheme." The technology would allow users to complete transactions at kiosks or buy products with unique coupons and pricing via their iPhone.

Apple's application states that while many personal electronic devices display advertisements, their effectiveness can be limited. Apple's system intends to make advertisements more enticing for users by offering a unique pricing scheme and relying on marketing factors that indicate the likelihood of a user to be receptive to the ad.

Those marketing factors could be transmitted from the iPhone, allowing the advertising system to determine the pricing and approach that would best suit that customer. Advertisers would be charged based on the effectiveness of the ad.

"Based on a dynamic pricing scheme, the advertisers may pay a variable price for an advertisement based on the likelihood of influencing user behavior," the application reads.

The document describes a new application on the iPhone home screen, titled "Local Ad," that would allow users to obtain, store and view advertisements and coupons for local businesses. In addition, information about local businesses and special promotions could be viewed when connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Advertisements could also be present in other applications as well, such as when accessing the iPhone Maps app or searching in Safari.



The patent application also specifically mentions a handset with near-field communication capabilities as part of the system. A phone and corresponding advertisement with RFID tags could transmit localized advertisement data to a portable device. In addition, users could also obtain further information and special pricing by scanning a barcode or matrix code with the iPhone's built-in camera.

"If the submitted advertisement... provides a coupon for food at a restaurant, the submitting advertiser... may include an indication that the advertisement... is directed to food sales, times of day when meals are popularly served, a GPS location of the restaurant, keywords that may relate to the restaurant in an Internet search, how weather may affect the use or non-use of the coupon in the advertisement..., etc," the application reads.



Targeted ads could rely on unique information, such as the time of day and the location of the user. For example, a user may download an advertisement or coupon at one location, but not access it until later from a different place in town.

The system could also be used for billing customers, allowing a transaction with the unique pricing to be completed directly from the iPhone.



The application describes a city's transit authority running a Wi-Fi network which users could access with their wireless devices. Using the network, the transit authority could deliver targeted advertisements to users on the subway. Users could access a subway map to help them get to where they are going, and obtain special offers and discounted rates through the transit authority. The system could also provide the names of nearby restaurants or other businesses within the vicinity.

Users could also search for a specific business to obtain advertisements and special pricing. One included example has a user searching for a restaurant and receiving information about a sandwich shop in the area, based on the user's prior advertisement viewing habits.



While the described invention focuses on the iPhone, it also states that the technique could be used for a number of other devices, including an iPod, iMac, MacBook, AppleTV or AirPort.

The invention, credited to Gloria Lin and Michael Rosenblatt, was originally filed on Nov. 14, 2008. But in addition to its public reveal this week, the application is especially timely with Apple's forthcoming launch of the iAd mobile advertising platform.



With iAd, Apple aims to deliver content rich interactive ad experiences that will allow user interactivity and access to useful information when tapping an advertisement on an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Apple's premium advertising service is like a miniature application, allowing users to do things like play small games or find local stores when viewing an ad.

Apple has planned a unique approach for the launch of iAd, and reportedly seeks to charge as much as $10 million to advertise with the service at launch. Later this year, when the network is established, Apple allegedly plans to charge close to $1 million for ads -- much higher than the $100,000 to $200,000 companies pay with existing mobile deals.

Some of the described technology also fits in with Apple's recent acquisition of Siri, the developer of a personal assistant application for the iPhone. The application allows users to search locally through voice, and provides the ability to complete complex tasks like make a reservation, all within one application. It is believed Apple paid $200 million to acquire the service.
post #2 of 13
OK, I don't have $10 mil and I'm not sure that with that amount of money in my advertising budget I could justify my iAd just so I could claim 'pole' position. \
May the Blue Bird of Happiness leave a deposit with you and yours.
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May the Blue Bird of Happiness leave a deposit with you and yours.
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post #3 of 13
We've been able to do this for the last 4 years: http://theponderingprimate.blogspot....-solution.html
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranstone View Post

We've been able to do this for the last 4 years: http://theponderingprimate.blogspot....-solution.html

Never heard of you. So what? Why haven't you hooked up with Apple yet?

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #5 of 13
I am really tense about iAd. It seems neat...to developers. But what about users? Am I going to be forced to look at an ad every time I open an application? I love my iPhone, but if that were the case, I'd switch to Android.
post #6 of 13
Snore........
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummertist View Post

I am really tense about iAd. It seems neat...to developers. But what about users? Am I going to be forced to look at an ad every time I open an application? I love my iPhone, but if that were the case, I'd switch to Android.

You're talking like Android is ad free. Well, when you switch to Android you're going to see ads too. Ads are already on both the iPhone and Android platform mostly on free apps.

Good luck and enjoy looking at ads on Android...
post #8 of 13
I really thought that this iteration of the iPhone would have RFID but so far, no one has said they found that in the prototypes...
post #9 of 13
I assume there would be the option to turn all of this off, and NOT have RFID on your phone. If not, Apple will be worse than Google, and will have big trouble in Congress over privacy issues. I would never buy an Apple mobile device if it had this Big Brother-type advertising, location tracking and reporting of personal information.
post #10 of 13
xerox machines and laser printers working full time at eric schmidt's office over these news...
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post

Never heard of you. So what? Why haven't you hooked up with Apple yet?

Contextual advertising is nothing new - it's making it so that it works on ALL phones vs., just the iPhone. Also you have to solve the integration problem with other services.
post #12 of 13
A good opportunity for advertisers to reach out target group but might not produce a great user experience...

A little bit is okay but it must have a limit to be framed after consumer surveys.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post

xerox machines and laser printers working full time at eric schmidt's office over these news...

haha, no joke. speaking of google, is it me, or are there a lot of google trolls around lately? (it's not me)

on topic: I'm surprised at all the negative nancy comments so far. this is another (key) element of a new way of life apple is showing us, where a simple wave of our phone can lead us to anywhere we need to go with ease, and maybe get us a bargain in the process. i, personally, can't wait till I can use my apple mapps app to find a place where my friends are hanging out, scan an ad poster for a discount, and pay at the cash register with RFID.
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