American Marketer


Wearable ad spend set to increase in light of challenges, opportunities

April 14, 2015

Apple's Apple Watch Edition Apple's Apple Watch Edition


Marketers are expected to spend nearly $70 million on smartwatch advertisements by 2019, according to a report by Juniper Research.

The increase in marketing spend projected by Juniper Research’s data is up from an estimated $1.5 million for 2015. From fashion brands outsourcing watch production to licensees to Swiss watchmakers, the surging popularity of smartwatches has generated industry buzz among advocates and opponents of the technology.

Budgeting for wearables
In Juniper Research’s “Digital Advertising: Online, Mobile & Wearables 2014-2019,” the researchers found that Apple’s entrance in the market with its Apple Watch is setting the pace of the wearable industry. Many analysts believe that Apple’s foray into wearables will be the determining factor to see if consumers do really have an overwhelming interest in this technology.

In the print space, AdWeek estimated that Apple’s 12-page placement in Vogue magazine’s March edition for Apple Watch had a rate-card value of more than $2.2 million (see story).

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Apple Watch Edition spread as seen in Vogue's March issue

Besides budgeting spend for promotion of wearables produced by a brand, marketers will have to retool their advertising strategies to adapt to smartwatches in general.

With a new “consumer screen,” marketers will also be given another outlet to communicate branded marketing messages to the masses. But, budgets will need to be applied to adapt marketing campaigns to the smaller consumer screen found on wearable devices.

Furthering that point, the way a consumer interacts with a mobile device compared to smartwatch will also be altered. The largest challenge is usage because consumers ideally will glance at their smartwatch for a few seconds, rather than engage for minutes on mobile phones.

For instance, The New York Times is among the growing list of high-end brands to create applications for the Apple Watch. News notifications from The New York Times will consist of a sentence accompanied by bullet point summaries and photography or graphics (see story).