There has been a lot of discussion over whether or not a digital version of a newspaper will ever replace its printed brethren. This commercial for the Newsday app pretty clearly demonstrates that there is one major function of a newspaper that the iPad can never hope to replace. It also made me immediately think of the following movie quote:
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. – Obi-Wan Kendobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Of course, by “millions of voices” I mean “Apple Fanboys” as they screamed in terror at the sight of an iPad being destroyed (don’t worry everyone, we somehow imagine it was a prop iPad … we doubt any real iPads were harmed during the filming of this commercial).
Joking aside, this commercial does bring up an interesting point. To the best of our knowledge this is the first commercial of its kind to advertise an app in such a specific way. We know Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has advertised their own apps during their commercial breaks, but as they own the network it isn’t quite the same situation as taking out ads on other channels.
Considering the relative newness of the iPad, this is a pretty large vote of confidence in the growth of the device when you consider cost of the app’s development, expenses for shooting the commercial and whatever ad rates they have paid to air it. That isn’t a chunk of change to be taken lightly, and is intriguing that a company would spend that much on a device that has sold only three million units the last we officially heard (although we know it has to be more by now).
What say you? Is Newsday putting too much faith in the iPad, or will this be a growing trend?