Fotopedia Tries to Crack Tablet Ad Model Code

Photo encylopedia believes in high-res, nonintrusive ad experience

The jury is still out on how advertisers should approach tablets like the iPad. But the app maker and photo encyclopedia company Fotopedia thinks it has a solution in the form of a new magazine-like tablet ad.

According to CEO Jean Marie Hullot, the mission at Fotopedia (which is behind high-res photo iPad apps like Heritage) is to "help people discover the beauty of the world." Well, the company's new ad model, which rolled out last week, looks to bring that philosophy to brand advertising. In fact, Fotopedia's new ads, which resemble full-page glossy print ads, often employ the company's own rich images. They are designed to be nonintrusive, and their initial ad partners, Flipboard, Jetsetter and National Geographic, all play in a similar space focusing on high-resolution content or travel-oriented material.

"We had to make sure we would not ruin the user experience," said Fotopedia svp Christophe Daligault of integrating ads into the app. "We have a really good emotional relationship with our audience and needed to integrate it in a way that wouldn't put people off. Some people look at advertising and think of it in terms of 'a call to action.' We think it is 'a call to discovery.'"

That philosophy and ad model will be put to the test in the coming months. The popular Heritage app is one of only about 60 apps inducted into Apple's App Hall of Fame. Fotopedia boasts 200 million page views per month, which will provide a large sample size to test if this new ad model will work in practice as well as it does in theory.

Fotopedia has scaled its platform to serve global ad campaigns in 120 countries in seven languages, targeted by location and interest.