Cookbooks have emerged as among the most popular apps in Apple’s App Store. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of cooking apps, cookbooks, ebooks with recipes, and cooking magazines you can load up on your iPad or iPhone. So, getting chosen by Apple — to star in an ad campaign designed to show off the iPad’s appeal — is quite an accomplishment.
It’s an achievement that belongs to an Israeli app, called Look and Cook, which features the recipes of Israeli gourmet chef Meir Adoni. Screenshots from the app have been plastered on billboards on highways, airports, malls, and city centers all across the US, along with the title “Mind Watering,” a phrase that evokes the term “mouth watering” — as something the taste buds anticipate and desire. The point of the campaign is to show the capabilities and versatility of the iPad, for which over 300,000 apps are available. Other billboards in the series are titled “Ear Opening” (music apps), “Well Versed” (literature apps), and “Elementary” (education apps for kids).
Each of the campaigns features the best of the type of app optimized for the iPad — and the cooking app chosen is the one designed to showcase Adoni’s recipes by Israeli start-up Kinetic Art. Besides using it for its US campaign, Look and Cook is being featured in a Japanese version of the campaign, plastered on billboards in Tokyo and other large Japanese cities.
To call Look and Cook a “cookbook” would be doing it an injustice; this app is an application in every sense of the word. Each recipe comes with step-by-step photos, a video, voice instructions with tricks and tips, voice control (requesting the next video, etc.) for books with busy hands, automatically embedded timers that sound when a specific step (mixing, baking) is supposed to start or stop, and more. Naturally, Apple chose the app for its national US ad campaign not just because it’s thorough, but because it looks good (thanks to the efforts of renowned Israeli food photographer Dan Peretz and food stylist Amit Farber), and is extremely easy to use (the app was designed by Ronen Mizrahi).
And what about the food? Meir Adoni is one of Israel’s biggest “celebrity chefs,” good enough to be reviewed by The New York Times (which doesn’t make a habit of reviewing Tel Aviv eateries). The recipes, as befits an Israeli app, are “modern Middle Eastern” (think a tabbouleh/crispy Barbuniya fish/tahini salad). Like Adoni’s restaurants, not all the recipes are kosher, although most are, and he gives instructions on how to adapt the ones that aren’t for kosher-keepers.
“It’s a great honor when a company like Apple singles you out, not to mention including you in a campaign of this magnitude,” said Oren Huberman, founder and CEO of Kinetic. “We hope this will help us open doors and gain a significant foothold in the rapidly growing market of tablet cookbooks. There is no doubt that cookbooks are going to change completely in the coming years, as is happening now in all the other areas in print,” added Huberman, “and we strive to be at the forefront of this niche.”