The French car maker Renault debuts the first iAd in Europe tomorrow, which will pitch its forthcoming electric car, the funky-looking Twizy. The iAd is Apple's mobile ad platform that has already been active a few months in the States, and has earned a favorable reception among those in the ad industry.
The iAd, you'll recall, was first announced back in April as the cure for standard mobile banner ads, which launched users out of the app they were enjoying and into a browser. iAds run in-app; when clicked, they fill the entire screen, and tend to offer a variety of ways to interact with the ad. Renault's Twizy iAd, for instance, will include a feature that allows you to calculate how much you could recharge the car while getting a haircut, working out, or doing something else. A swipe of the finger delivers you to a different feature, where you can shake your iPhone or iPod Touch to try out various Twizy designs. The iAd's users can also pre-reserve a car right through the ad.
This video gives you an idea.
American marketers have been pretty sanguine about iAds. "We feel pretty strongly that this is the way to capitalize on where the mobile Web is heading," Nissan's Chad Jacoby told the Los Angeles Times a few months ago. "What iAd promises is the most progressive thing I've seen to date."
Renault, which has been allied with Nissan since 1999, wanted to hop on that progressive bandwagon, figuring that early-adopters in smart-phones were likely to overlap with early-adopters in EVs. Renault is definitely a leader in electric cars, partnering with Better Place since 2008 to stock Israel's roads with them. It's billing itself as "the only carmaker in the world to offer a complete range of affordable electric vehicles beginning in 2011," according to the press release announcing the iAd.
This isn't the first alternative advertising Renault has tried out on the Twizy: it included a digital prototype as part of an expansion pack to the video game The Sims 3 back in April.
[Image: Flickr user phalenebdlv]