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5 Ways the iPad [Did or Didn’t] Transform Marketing, Part 4 – Entertainment & Edutainment

It’s not surprising that “entertainment” is the most popular category at Apple Store, with an audience of more than 150 million, according to the last study released by Nielsen. In fact, games and entertainment account for 42% of time spent on mobile devices.


We know that people want to be entertained, stimulated and inspired – it’s an innate human desire. So how can marketers leverage this desire to make more and better brand impressions anytime and anywhere?

During the past three weeks, we’ve been assessing our predictions from 2010 on how the iPad would become a “Killer Platform” in various business applications.

Were our predictions fact or fiction? 

iPads have a critical role when it comes to visualization, self-guided experiences and payment processing, creating a compelling customer experience.

Salespeople can streamline the sales process by providing potential customers with interactive product or service information through a dynamic platform.

Although companies have increasingly integrated the use of iPad in their development programs, the adoption rate is still very low and lags behind other business areas.

It’s time to assess the forth chapter of our iPad series: “Entertainment & Edutainment.” Have marketers been using the iPad as a way to entertain and “edutain” their customers through rich media experiences? 

3. The role of iPad for Entertainment & Edutainment

First of all, let’s define what we mean by “edutainment”: It’s where engaging education meets with compelling entertainment. Considering the iPad’s ability to leverage emergent knowledge, we predicted that it would allow marketers not only to grab a customer’s attention, but also to educate them on the benefits of a product or service.

The article For Mobile Devices, think apps, not ads goes perfectly in line with our predictions from five years ago: Instead of buying small banner ads with low ROI, companies should use the iPad and tablet technology as a way to add value to consumers’ lives and enhance long-term engagement with their brands.

Were our predictions Fact or Fiction?

FACT. Marketers have realized the opportunity to entertain their customers while educating them about a product or service. Many industry leaders have been using the iPad as a platform to create bonds with their valuable customers. 

Product Visualization

L’Oreal, for example, developed the first virtual makeup tester. The Makeup Genius app applies advanced facial mapping technology to transform the mobile device into a mirror, enabling potential customers to virtually try-on makeup looks and products in real time. The app is not only an entertainment tool, but also a powerful tool for product visualization, allowing customers to know more about the brand’s portfolio in a fun and engaging way. Users can share the results on social media with family and friends, and easily purchase the products tested. 

“One of the best apps I’ve used! This app has always surprised and entertained me for its accuracy and realness. It’s the only app of its kind. It’s a great distraction and a lot of fun. It always works.” by Princeofpisland – Customer review on Apple Store

The Mercedes-Benz case shared in the first chapter of our series – Customer Empowerment – is also a great example of “edutainment.” Mercedes’ iPad app enables customers to explore the models through exclusive virtual tours and vehicle customization tools that bring innovation to life. The AMG GT app also takes customer on a ride around the demanding Laguna Seca Raceway in California in full HD. It not only educates the consumer about the brand and its different models, but also entertains, creating a compelling customer experience. 

BMW is another player in the same industry, using the iPad to connect and “edutain” customers. The BMW Genius app explores all car models, with a brief overview, highlights, and detailed specifications on each series. It also includes tips with short videos, allowing new customers to learn more about how to use the innovative features though an interactive platform.

“My first BMW. The app answered a lot of questions clearly. Highly recommend.” by Sweet Lou 112 – Customer review on Apple Store


Red Bull is another example of how companies have capitalized on the opportunity to spread the brand message in a fun way. Instead of creating traditional ads or even an app focused on the product, Red Bull developed several mobile gaming apps, including Red Bull Racers, Red Bull Air Race and Red Bull Kart Fighter, with the latter being the #1 top free racing game in over 25 countries. Red Bull has built its brand identity around sports, adventure, and entertainment, sponsoring athletes and major events as part of its strategy, aligned with its tagline “Red Bull gives you wings.” The games are an amazing way to connect with their customers. Whenever a customer hits “Play,” he’s engaging with Red Bull.



All these examples validate our predictions made in 2010 about the use of the iPad for entertainment and “edutainment,” especially in business scenarios. It’s important to highlight that most of these apps are designed for both iPhone and iPad. However, considering iPad’s large screen, light weight, portability, and rich media capabilities, the iPad creates a better consumer experience, anytime and anywhere.

Next week we’ll review the last part of our series: “Value Chain Optimization”. We’ll assess the usage of iPads for product design and development, inventory management, product assortment, and merchandising.

Were our predictions accurate? 

Did the iPad enable functional efficiencies and effectiveness up and down corporate value chains?

Check back next week to find out.

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Photo Credit: Clark Maxwell

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