Hyperlocal, MSM|September 19, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: ,

‘iCircular’ Ads on Phones Coming to AP Newspapers

icircular

If you’re an early adopter and eschew print, there are probably a few things that you’ve been waiting on to transition over to new media.

It’s probably been at least seven years since I’ve purchased my last newspaper, but I do sometimes ask my mom to save the circulars if I’m coming over on a Sunday. Mobile coupon apps are sorely lacking, and there hasn’t been any real major push to move the sale-notifications to a reasonably perusable tablet, phone or mobile web format. And sometimes you just need a new set of sheets, a pallet of tampons or a blender.

Enter the Associated Press’ iCircular. Beginning today, the AP is rolling out a mobile circular to their stable of web newspapers in order to keep readers abreast of sales and specials in their neck of the woods. iCircular will be embedded within a paper’s app or on a ‘deals’ tab on the site’s mobile version with HTML 5. The journalistic organization released a statement announcing the new feature, and explaining a bit about how it works:

“You’ve always relied on your Sunday newspaper ads for great deals and savings. Now you can have the best of both worlds — look at your inserts at home, then take them with you on your mobile phone… A tap of that tab on the touchscreen devices and “you’ll find all of the merchandise and products contained in your weekly preprint — browse retailers’ store ads and view product information, plus you’ll be able to make a shopping list, get directions to the closest store, share with family and friends, plus many other great features and tools.”

So far, the service is running with a handful of national retailers as well as some local outfits. Bigger name participants include JCPenney, Kohl’s, Kmart, Macy’s, Staples, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, but the program will almost definitely expand as it catches on across the country. Participating newspapers include the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.