While scouring the Web for details about Apple’s iPhone (due out June 29), I came across an interesting article that was written about this time last year. The article appeared in the UK version of Macworld and reported that fake ads for an iPod-cell phone hybrid were appearing on YouTube. These ads came well before any official announcement from Apple, generating significant anticipation, buzz, and even controversy. No one knew quite what to expect – if anything at all. While few, if any, of these ads actually depicted the real iPhone, I’m inclined to ask a few questions.
1. Who put these faux ads up on YouTube? Was it Mac enthusiasts, so excited by the prospect of an iPod-cell phone that they designed their own ad with their own prototype? Or was this the work of some marketing professionals? Either way it was slick – not to mention effective.
2. Did timing have anything to do with it? The YouTube ads built up momentum throughout the first half of 2006 – leading up to the official iPhone announcement by Steve Jobs in January of 2007. I have to wonder, was it planned? Rumors are great when the number one authority confirms.
3. When can I get one? Regardless of who was behind the faux ads, they sure got me excited for the iPhone’s release.
Apple is one of the smartest companies out there right now – that’s a given. But what really sets them apart is their militant legion of Apple-ites. Mac people truly live and love everything Apple. Might that explain the fake ads? It is a distinct possibility. One thing is clear: Apple has done a model job of getting its customers to live the brand.
And sure enough, there were (and still are) hoax ads for the iPhone.