USA Today Among Sites Set to Run iPad Ads

As Apple preps for the launch of the iPad, advertisers are gearing up to run campaigns on the new device. Mobile ad platform AdMarvel has teamed with Gannett-owned rich media ad firm PointRoll to enable expandable and highly-interactive ads on the iPad. Gannett’s USA Today – an AdMarvel publisher – is among the sites that will launch on the iPad with ads served up by the partners, according to Max Mead, VP of business development at PointRoll.

While PointRoll will handle creative, ad serving, analytics, and reporting for the iPad ads, Opera Software-owned AdMarvel will manage campaign ad insertion, frequency-capping, and related ad delivery services.

The iPad device – expected to launch in early April – “has a large enough screen that you can do more with an ad,” said Mead. “With an expandable ad, it’s almost the size of a sheet of paper or a desktop screen.”

When the iPad officially becomes available, PointRoll will launch ads for “an automaker, a large retailer, a large CPG conglomerate, and a pretty large hotel chain,” Mead continued. He declined to name the advertisers. “You could very easily run pretty much the same ad as you do on the iPhone on the iPad,” explained Mead, “but that would not really be fully leveraging the potential…You have an opportunity on the iPad to do a lot more.”

AdMarvel CEO Mahi de Silva said he expects “that there will be somewhere in the hundreds of campaigns” from advertisers running through the company’s platform. Many will be custom campaigns sold by premium publishers’ sales forces, said de Silva. The partners can be expected to work with Gannett, which like other newspaper publishers is under pressure to develop new revenue streams outside of print.

“We already have campaigns today that are live on the system,” said de Silva. AdMarvel partners with over 60 mobile ad networks.

There are obstacles to creating rich media advertising on the iPad because the device does not enable Flash or cross-domain cookies. For that reason, said de Silva, advertisers can be expected to develop in-application ads. “In-application advertising is really the more compelling adverting opportunity on these devices,” he told ClickZ News. “It’s being able to do things like interstitials…click-to-connect, and video.” The software development kit for the iPad has been available for several weeks, he added.

Ad experiences could involve a user browsing an electronics magazine and “what you’ll see is a more dynamic ad – it will expand into more of a full-screen experience.”

Unlike the mobile Web where the user must leave a site to go to a landing page, the iPad ad formats will allow users to interact with several dimensions of ad content without leaving the site page.

AdMarvel and PointRoll also agreed to work together on mobile advertising. “This enables advertisers to easily extend the work that we do together using the same assets,” and allowing for integrated reporting, said Mead. PointRoll has offered expandable mobile Web ads on the iPhone for about a year and a half.

You can follow Kate Kaye on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

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