As a relatively new member of the seemingly elite “I own an iPhone” club, I am still discovering the joys (and challenges) of owning such a life-changing device. And no, I do not think “life-changing” is an overstatement — buy one, you’ll see. On a daily basis I am uncovering the hottest apps, pushing my personal status updates across various networking sites, reading news feeds about the economy’s latest mishap, downloading music, purchasing movie tickets…the list goes on. This thing has integrated itself into my life beyond the realm of a typical cell phone, and I may be slightly obsessed. However, it wasn’t until recently, when a friend encouraged me to read this article from the Huffington Post, that I realized “obsessed” may be a slight understatement. Seven words in, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty: iPhone Turns Users Into Junkies, Study Finds.
My initial reaction to the piece was to put up my defenses. Erroneous! I’m no junkie, no addict! But as time passed and I rattled off reasons to justify my “non-addiction”, I began to feel unconvinced. You see, I am one of those users you frown upon as I navigate the aisles of Publix with one hand on the cart, the other furiously typing away. I’m one of those users who sits down to watch a previously recorded television show, yet always has one eye on that little handheld screen. And though I am strongly opposed to texting while driving, I still get excited to hear that little beep en route, and upon putting the car in park sprint into response mode at full speed ahead. And these are just a few examples. So, I have finally come to terms with and accepted the reality of my situation: My name is Beth, and it is quite possible that I am an iPhone junkie.
But is that necessarily a bad thing? I must believe that I am not the only, nor even the first, to ultimately accept and embrace being eternally bound to a piece of plastic with internet access. The evidence is clear in what so many businesses are doing these days to promote their brands to “addicts” like me. I’m not watching live television like I used to, and skipping commercials as a result. My eyes and attention are glued to the screen, and not to your indoor signage all over the MARTA cars. I’m not surfing the Web and reading banner ads as traditionally as I used to. But, it doesn’t mean I’m not getting exposed to the same product information and messaging as those who are.
For example, I can’t play a game on my phone without first seeing a screen advertising Tim Burton’s new movie, or the hottest shoes to hit the courts since Air Jordans. Searching for a simple dinner recipe prompts my phone to ask me if I want to download The Food Network mobile app or receive 10% off a Martha Stewart cookbook. Companies big and small are making moves to embrace the reality that many of their best consumers are part human, part smartphone. Their marketing efforts are tailored to reach us mobile addicts in a variety of ways; and though I cannot quote anything verbatim, I know there is research out there to prove their efforts are paying off. Each day I discover new and interesting things on this device, and each day I am exposed to new and interesting methods of advertising. The possibilities are infinite.
I applaud the brands that have gone the extra mile to make their advertising more mobile-friendly, and challenge those who have not gotten there quite yet to also embrace this reality and tailor their efforts accordingly. There is still plenty of room on the bandwagon; we hope you’ll join us soon!
— Beth Madigan, Account Executive