The video: When the iPad debuted in April, it was touted as a renaissance gadget: Simultaneously, the newspaper of the future, a novel platform for video, and a whole new way for advertisers to sell their wares. Now Apple has unveiled the first-ever commercial specific to the iPad — a video-based promo for the Disney film Tron: Legacy. (View below.) The Tron "iAd" "will serve as a preview of a broader rollout of the iAd advertising network on the iPad next year," all part of Apple's attempt to compete with Google, the current king of mobile advertising.
The reaction: These commercials, or something like them, "are the way of the future," says Pascal Emmanuel-Gobry at Business Insider. It's key that Apple has added social-media touches — letting viewers send an email from inside the ad, for instance — since "one of the big pluses of gorgeous, immersive ads is that they make you want to share them." Unfortunately, says The Financial Times, enthusiasm for Apple's iAd network has "waned amid high prices for ads, a slow production process and client withdrawals." One quoted executive says that "clients don’t really take [the new ad model] that seriously yet. It goes in the experimental category, along with most of the rest of mobile advertising." Watch the Tron iPad ad: