During the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony, Apple ran the above ad for the iPhone.  It was the first commercial for the product, and while there was a later one that showed off how it worked, boy was this one out of the normal for the company.

In a recent article at Computerworld, Ian Paul pointed out that part of the problem Palm was having right now with seeing wider success with the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi was that the television ads just didn't work.  He proposed that part of the reason Apple was having such success with the iPhone was that the advertisements have always played more like product demos than the wackiness that has been Palm Pre ads with "The Creepy Girl."  Apparently Mr. Paul forgot about this particular ad.

iphone1stgenIt is of course easy to forgive this one because it was an "event" ad, and no one really knew in the mainstream what the iPhone was as of yet.  While this ad definitely doesn't fit the typical mode for Apple, it actually may have been the best thing to start with because it looked nothing like a traditional phone.

Think about it for a moment, while all of us gadget heads were already counting the days to this device, Apple had to explain to Ma and Pa America how a device with no physical buttons was still a phone.  Was there really a better way of doing it then showing well-known actors and actresses picking up phones and saying "Hello" repeatedly?  It doesn't matter how obvious it might have been by the name "iPhone", Apple realized that sometimes you had to hit people over the head with the obvious.  They chose the second biggest television audience of the year to do so, and it obviously started to build the fervor we saw once it finally watched.

Perhaps it wasn't the optimal ad for the type of people reading this blog, but it played well to the people who don't live, eat and breathe gadgets every day.

What did you think of it?  Did it grab your attention?

(bonus points: notice the picture in this article is a really early shot of the iPhone … it still says "Cingular" as the carrier.)