I opened a Reuters article in Reeder, the RSS browser I use on my iPhone, and found an animated invitation to ‘Swipe up’. Curiosity got the better of me and, even though I managed to locate the subtle ‘X’ mark to close it, I decided to swipe and see what happened.
The result was an interactive advertisement for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The flow, illustrated and annotated below, seems a good representation of how advertising formated for iPhone has evolved.
Overall, I found it a usable experience. I didn’t experience delays loading the content, the information was useful and it linked to an 8 minute video which gave me all the detail I could have wanted about the Note II.
However, there were two problems. Firstly, it didn’t work in landscape mode (see last image below) and, there was no way for me to buy the Note II at the end of the advertising flow. Mobile devices are inherently transactional. If I’ve been sufficiently distracted to engage with an immersive advert for several minutes, it is not beyond the realms of possibility I would actually buy it – but it needs to be easy – a simple link to a service I’m already comfortable with, such as Amazon, or perhaps a price comparison through Google Shopping.
The invitation to ‘Swipe’ is ambiguous. The ‘X’ mark (top left hand corner) is also subtle and hard to find. I was curious enough to try it; other users may be frustrated by a full screen item obscuring their content or click by accident.
The pixel dense display of the iPhone shows good illustrations and several sections summarising the overall product. They were simple to navigate.
I could rotate a model of the Note II in a smooth, responsive, 3D simulation.
The final section of the advert linked to an 8 minute video with additional detail, well integrated with the iOS video player. However, there was no further link to buy or make a partial move towards buying the product.
The visual experience broke down in landscape mode, with the advertisement unable to respond to the change in orientation.