Apple TV Ads
Apple TV Overview
Apple TV is neither a television set nor a broadcast service, despite what the name suggests. It’s a digital media device that enables a TV to connect to the internet. It gives a “regular” TV the same capabilities as a smart TV. With it, a viewer can stream content from providers such as Netflix and Hulu. It performs the same function as a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. Because it’s more expensive than its competitors, it appeals primarily to people who are “Apple-centric” and have iPhones, iPads and Macs in their homes.
Apple TV consists of an Apple TV box and a remote. The box attaches to an HDMI cable that connects to the internet with either the remote or with the Apple TV app, which is downloadable to a smart device. The device comes in both an HD and 4K version where the latter provides better resolution. A viewer may use an Apple TV 4K with a non-4K TV, but the other way around won’t work well.
An Apple TV, as a piece of hardware or device, is a one-time expense. There’s no Apple TV subscription required. Once an Apple TV device is connected, it can be used to subscribe or log in to various streaming services. You can also select content with the Apple TV app running on an iPhone, iPad or Mac. There’s a feature called Apple TV channels where a viewer selects Netflix or Amazon Prime or any other available streaming service.
Apple, too, offers its own streaming service, Apple TV Plus, often known as Apple TV+. Sometimes you’ll hear people talk about Apple TV shows and Apple TV movies, but these are more correctly referred to as Apple TV Plus shows and movies.
Apple TV Ads
Apple TV and Apple TV Plus are not, in and of themselves, rich fields for advertisers. There are no Apple TV+ ads. In fact, Apple takes pride in pointing out that fact. There is Apple TV advertising a viewer sees on the Apple TV menu while selecting content. However, that advertising consists largely of Apple messages, many of which promote the shows on Apple TV Plus.
The best opportunity for reaching Apple TV viewers is through other content sources those viewers watch on Apple TV. These are content providers such as Hulu and Amazon Prime, the same sources that provide content to viewers of smart TVs and TVs with Rokus. They’re the same sources bringing shows to viewers who are watching on a phone or tablet.
For non-TV advertising, Apple actively promotes a service called Apple Search Ads. These have been around for a few years, and a large number of Apple ads 2019 and Apple ads 2020 fall into this category. These are contextual ads that a user sees in the Apple App Store. As such, they are most valuable for businesses that have Apple apps and want to drive traffic to those apps.
Apple TV Plus
With the proliferation of content providers delivering shows these days, it’s not surprising that Apple has decided to market its own streaming service. Apple TV+ is one of the Apple TV Plus Channels a customer can choose from the Apple TV menu. Apple TV Plus shows have a lot in common with shows viewable on other content providers: they’re largely movies and archives of TV series.
A viewer doesn’t have to own an Apple TV device or use an Apple phone or computer to enjoy Apple TV Plus. It’s open to all audiences. The seven day Apple TV Plus free trial is out there for any viewer to take advantage of. Just download the Apple TV Plus app on whatever device to stream internet content and it’s ready to go.
Is Apple TV Plus free? Not for ongoing subscriptions; a viewer has to pay a monthly fee, currently $4.99 a month. However, as an incentive to buy an Apple TV box, purchasers of Apple TV are entitled to an Apple TV Plus free year of programming. That offer is open to purchasers of any Apple device. Also, if a consumer buys Apple One, a bundle of five other services including Apple Music and Apple News+, Apple TV+ is included.
An Apple TV Plus review claims Apple TV+ costs less than most other streaming services, and an appeal for viewers is that it doesn’t include advertising. However, Apple TV Plus content lags behind its competitors. It doesn’t have as many shows or shows that are as popular. Part of that comes from being later to the game than the others, and it should be noted that Apple TV Plus is committed to introducing new content every month.
Marketers should be aware of Apple TV Plus and its no-advertising policy. It’s unlikely that many of its competitors will adopt the same rules any time soon, but any tendency to resists ads is something advertisers need to keep abreast of.
While Apple TV and Apple TV Plus provide fewer opportunities for advertisers than some other venues, it’s instructive to look at Apple TV commercials and how Apple has marketed its own products. Even Apple print ads have been inventive and have helped the company build and hold a fiercely loyal customer base. The Apple advertising touch shows not only in an Apple TV+ commercial, but also in the company’s commercials for Apple Music, iPhone, iPad and all the other products and services Apple provides.
For example, an Apple TV commercial 2020 for the iPhone 12 features “Powerful,” the Apple TV commercial song 2020 sung by Yma Sumac. Another theme of the Apple commercial 2020 focuses on the quality and variety of what customers can see on their iPhones. This includes pointing out how enjoyable it is to watch movies on these devices. Apple encourages viewers to make their movie viewing experience better by downloading the Apple TV+ app and watching Apple TV+ content on their iPhones.
Apple TV Plus is a relative newcomer to the world of streaming content. It’s been around only since November 2019. Thus, an Apple TV commercial 2019 wouldn’t have focused on Apple TV+ until well into that year.
From the “ancient” days when it first introduced the Mac through its famous and anticipated Super Bowl commercials and on into 2020’s colorful iPhone commercials, Apple has been a trendsetter for creativity in advertising. The company has made wide use of all the advertising media available in the world today, but Apple has been zealous in enforcing restrictions on the use of its channels for marketing. The Apple TV+ advertising ban is a case in point.
For marketers, Apple provides an example of what can be done in advertising through a wide range of media. Though there are restrictions on the opportunity to place advertising with Apple TV and Apple TV plus, there’s a lot to learn about advertising in all the ways that are possible in today’s world.