What the New iPhone Means for Advocacy
At a small event in San Francisco last week, Apple unveiled the latest version of the iPhone, the iPhone SE. The most notable difference is that this will be the smallest iPhone ever, with a screen size of just 4 inches. And with that announcement, Apple threw the advocacy industry a curve ball.
Why you might ask?
Well, over the years, iPhones have changed the way we communicate, consume, and more specifically, the way we advocate; and in the days since the event, there has been no shortage of opinions on the product’s latest upgrades.
Articles, social media posts, and interviews have detailed how consumers are responding to the tech giant’s latest installment, and so far, reactions are mixed. Personally, I’m excited – I’ve been dreading the thought of upgrading to an iPhone 6, or even worse, the 6 plus. Like many young Washingtonians, I’m constantly on the go, and the thought of needing two hands to operate my device feels more like a handicap than a luxury. On the flip side, I have plenty of friends who have become accustomed to the larger screen and admit to consuming far more media on their phones, and in turn, more ads as a result.
Advocacy professionals have taken note of this trend and mobile advertising has become a crucial component of most campaigns. Sign-up forms, videos, and banner ads have all been compressed to appeal to mobile users. Just when we think that we have the right formula to persuade constituents, the game changes.
Presumably, mobile media consumption could go down based on the smaller size, or popularity, of the iPhone SE. That being said, campaigns will likely need to rethink how they advertise given the loss of those few precious inches of screen space.
So far, opinions on how the change will affect the campaign industry is mixed. Some argue that mobile videos are here to stay, no matter what the size. Others say, that the days of the “phablet” are officially gone, and big screens are no longer en vogue. This means that campaigns are going to have to, once again, readjust. Others argue that the mobile advertising is constantly evolving anyway, from specs to resolution ratios, we are still figuring it out and the release of new iPhone is just one of the many factors to consider.
What’s our take? I think the most compelling argument is the latter. The blessing and curse of mobile advertising is the surplus of information. We have more information than ever on who constituents are, how they behave, and how to reach them. Couple this information with the technicalities of mobile advertising and it’s hard to know if any of us is really getting mobile advertising right. The iPhone’s latest change will likely just be a blip in the grand scheme, and campaigns will undoubtedly have to make some minor adjustment to align with the their latest product.
Jamie Grigg, is Director of Accounts at Goddard Gunster.