Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another iPhone Ad That Asks You to Shake It Up

Mobile advertising is growing fast, but it’s still a small business. Even if you use your smartphone a lot, you may not encounter a whole lot of ads. And even fewer interesting ones.

So here’s one that just started running: A campaign for AMC’s “Breaking Bad” series that’s running on iPhone apps for CNN and NPR.

The video below should give you some clue about how the ad, produced by mobile marketing start-up Medialets, works. But in case you can’t tell, the idea is that you click on a small banner ad, which turns into a mini-app that lets you “mix your own chemicals” and eventually lets you watch a trailer for the series (about a chemistry teacher turned meth dealer) or buy an episode via Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes.

If you follow mobile marketing, this might seem familiar. Last year, Medialets rolled out a campaign for Dockers that asked users to shake the ads. And earlier this year, the firm rolled out a campaign for Vampire Weekend’s new album that asked users to shake the ads. At some point, the novelty factor for this stuff will wear off.

Meantime, it’s still going to be new for most users. If you’re really into this stuff and you live in New York, stop by Apple’s Soho store Friday, where the show’s creator will be promoting the show and the app ads.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work