How Do You Get Your App in an Apple Ad?

Last year, Apple put out a series of commercials promoting the iPhone through demonstrating a number of its best applications.

Among the lucky companies that managed to land slots were Barnes & Noble, Pizza Hut, Gap, Epicurious and Zagat, but they didn’t get their slots because they paid Apple the most money for the cameo. Apple puts a higher premium on showcasing what their own product can do than in securing advertising dollars.

Basically, the marketers who created the iPhone apps that were then featured in the Apple commercials weren’t even aware that their apps were being considered for use. However, they got a huge free marketing boost when the Apple ads aired, and this set other marketers to putting some serious research into how to be the next lucky winner of an Apple leg-up.

The one thing all the applications have in common? They’re useful to customers and they show off the best features of the iPhone itself. Naturally Apple wants to show off apps that make the iPhone seem like an invaluable piece of technology, but the company’s brand is also hugely customer-focused, and apps that are customer-friendly have a definite advantage.

Good user experience seems to be the number-one reason to be featured in an Apple commercial. For example, Pizza Hut landed their slot because they were the very first company to offer an app that allowed users to place delivery orders. The app also made good use of iPhone features like tilting and GPS, which made for a winning combination.

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Cable TV Networks Encourage New Subscribers

Cable TV providers were panicked initially by the popularity of Hulu.com, an online video viewing service that allows consumers to watch the same TV shows they get on cable, anytime, for free.

Why would viewers continue to pay for their cable membership, the logic goes, if they can get those shows online? Comcast Corp. recently tried to get in on the action by launching a test program that will ask current subscribers to use their account information to access the same shows they enjoy on the boob tube on the Internet instead.

They will not be offering those shows online for free at all; only subscribers will be able to view them. They’re hoping this will incentivize more people to sign up for subscriptions, instead of the current trend in which online options seem to be encouraging current subscribers to cut one more item from their budget.

The eventual goal is for cable networks not to provide their shows for free anymore on channels like Hulu, ad revenue or no ad revenue, though executives say that it’s possible the two can learn to co-exist in some way.

Old shows that are no longer shown on cable may still be available, for example, or cable networks may agree to allow old seasons of current shows to be posted in hopes that viewers will get hooked and start subscribing to see the latest aired show.

If the networks all band together, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to get a lock on online TV show viewers and make illegal uploading of TV shows as dangerous as music sharing became after Napster.

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