Unless you’ve been living in the woods, cut off from all forms of media for the past three years, you’ve probably heard about Apple’s newest range of iDevices: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The software that runs these devices, iOS (recently shortened from ‘iPhone OS’), has proven to be one of the most user-friendly operating systems ever developed. Apple have successfully created a set of portable personal computers that just about anyone can use without training—even children as young as a year-and-a-half old.
A plethora of videos have sprung up on YouTube of toddlers navigating iPhones and iPads as if it was an innate ability. Kids that can’t even put together a complete sentence are unlocking their parents’ iPhones and finding their favorite apps on the home screen. One two-year-old girl can even find her favorite Lenny Kravitz song on her father’s iPhone.
This is a big deal for advertisers.
Apple, with their forthcoming iAd platform, have created a new way for advertisers to directly interact with children. There are already hundreds of free, ad-supported children’s apps available for the iOS devices. iAds will enable advertisers to use these as a way to serve children with fully-interactive mobile advertising.
Disney is already ahead of the curve—they’ve released promotional game apps for The Princess and the Frog, Alice In Wonderland, Up, and Toy Story.
Of course, advertising to children has always been a touchy subject, as young children will likely be unable to differentiate between content and advertising. Despite the controversy, however, advertisers aiming to reach the toddler demographic will be taking advantage of the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad’s popularity among the age group.