While its introduction may have been overshadowed by the US launch of the iPad on April 3rd, the iAd is nevertheless "a big deal" that could shake up the way marketers approach mobile search ads, it has been claimed.

Michael Boland told Search Engine Watch that Apple’s new feature offers "deep integration" with mobile devices, which means consumers do not have to switch from an app to their internet browser in order to view and interact with an ad.

In the case of Nike’s iAds, users can view a pictorial history of great sporting moments, while also being able to locate the nearest store with Air Jordans in stock.

Mr Boland said that this mixes traditional branding with the "utility of search".

It is an approach that contrasts sharply with Google’s vision of mobile search engine marketing, which has the internet browser as the "front door" to the experience.

In fact, Mr Boland said that Apple’s mobile ad feature is more advertiser-centric because it offers greater interactivity, more user-centric as there is less switching between apps and develop-centric because it keeps users within an app for longer.

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