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New York Times iPhone App now serving up accelerometer-loving ads (Updated)

August 19, 2009
Visa Ad with floating offers

Visa ad with floating offers

If you’re like me and tried reading The New York Times on your iPhone today, you may have noticed a new addition: full-screen ads that react to you tilting the screen. The ad appeared after tapping to read an article on New York’s garment district.

The Visa ad, which features special offers from various partners, changes as you tilt the device on its side. Good work advertisers, you’ve tricked my brain into thinking it was playing a game for a good 15 seconds. Earlier this year, Dockers placed an ad in some iPhone games that also used the accelerometer, prompting gamers to shake the iPhone in-between levels. Obviously, the Times is looking at any way possible to monetize content they’re delivering for free. Now that we’ve seen more of this in the wild, look for ads that use even more of Apple’s built-in hardware, especially the digital compass. “Turn this iPhone around for an additional 10% off!” may not be too far off.

I’ve tried forcing it to serve me up another one, but  it seems the App knows that it shouldn’t annoy you too much. I’ll update this post if I can figure out how often it will go in to full-screen ad mode.

UPDATE AUGUST 21: Two days later, the ad returned. Good balance that doesn’t annoy.

Even more pics:

Visa ad with minor tilt action.

Visa ad - Fannie May edition.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gilles permalink
    August 21, 2009 1:21 PM

    Works the same way on my iPod touch but with a difference; the ad appeared in landscape mode even if I didn’t tilt the screen.

  2. August 23, 2009 2:51 PM

    Thanks, Elias, particularly for the update comment. We did both this and the Dockers ad, and continue to work on the right balance between the wants of advertisers, publishers and users. It’s still an early space but what we’re learning is that there’s definitely a sweet spot in interactivity that lends to great results for ads.

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