TapSense Launches First Ads for Apple Watch

TapSense, a mobile ad exchange, has just launched the first programmatic ad platform for the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch.

In a blog post, TapSense promised that the platform will “go beyond banner ads” by offering interactive interfaces such as glances — relevant moments from users’ favorite apps — and full-screen experiences. The ads will also connect to iPhone’s GPS to offer “hyper-local targeting,” which has been slow to catch on, according to TapSense, because of the friction users experience in the act of retrieving an iPhone and unlocking the screen to receive localized offers.

The new platform will provide better marketing solutions for the ever-growing wearable market, according to TapSense founder Ash Kumar.

“Wearables and Internet of Things are the next frontiers in the mobile revolution,” Kumar said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to announce the industry’s first programmatic ad platform for Apple Watch developers and brands. While most of our competitors are focused on banner ads and legacy platforms, we are focused on innovation and next-generation platforms. Apple Watch has the potential to be a category disruptor similar to iPod or iPhone and we believe that it provides great opportunities for brands and developers to deliver engaging experiences to consumers.”

While the Apple Watch could be a boon for marketers looking to capitalize on wearables, ads also have the potential to be highly interruptive to users, according to Sarah Blecher, partner and director of user experience at Digital Pulp.   

“Frequency could be a huge pothole for marketers,” Blecher says. “We all understand that being on the wrist means we have the potential of interrupting the user in extremely personal moments. Marketers have to learn when and how often to make an appearance.”

The TapSense ad platform promises a more seamless user experience for wearables, from better integrated localized offers to easier mobile payments with Apple Pay. Allen Adamson, North American chairman of Landor, believes that the Apple Watch will force brands to adapt their strategies for wearables to stay relevant. 

“The tactics that were developed for a desktop computer will not be relevant for wearables,” Adamson says. “First one in usually has a competitive advantage, and the game has got to change when the screen size gets as small as the Apple Watch and the watch is most likely going to be as groundbreaking as the iPad.” 

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