Although the iPad is the hands of less than half-a-million people, Lifetime is targeting those users with an ad campaign for this week’s seventh season finale of Project Runway. The campaign features “behind-the-scenes” video from the series during Fashion Week. iPad users will also be able to to vote for which designer they think will win this season. The ad units are in HTML5 — not Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash, which doesn’t run on the iPad — so viewers can also watch full screen videos from the show. While the iPad is top of mind for this campaign, it will also run on Apple’s iPhone and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android phones as well.
The use of “rich media” in ad campaigns is hardly novel at this point. But with companies like Gannett’s PointRoll and Interpolls, which worked on the Lifetime campaign, gaining traction, the use of rich media as opposed to “static” banner ads is likely to become more prominent as online ad spending comes back. Online video ads will play a larger part of that. According to the last eMarketer forecast, spending growth for online video will run in the 34 percent to 54 percent range between last year and 2014 — growing from $1.4 billion in 2010, to $5.2 billion in 2014.
Ironically, iPad users who visit MyLifetime.com cannot watch full episodes of Project Runway on the device, since the videos there only support Adobe Flash — which is notably absent from the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) system.
Instead, iPad users will have to turn to sites running the Project Runway ad. The ad will be running on iPad enabled web pages belonging to TVGuide.com, TV.com, Buzznet.com, OK Magazine.com, Just Jared.com, People.com and TheSocialiteLife.com.