Google surprised everyone by running a TV spot on the Super Bowl, one that was pretty well-received. Apple, a current rival of Google on many fronts, pulled off a similar sneak attack during Sunday night's Academy Awards show with its first ad for the iPad. Since the goal was to create demand for a totally new device, Apple stuck close to its playbook. It didn't introduce any new characters or celebrity announcers. Instead, it was a glossy demo of all the neat stuff that the iPad does. Which is maybe why the spot, by TBWA\Media Arts Lab, has gotten a ho-hum response in the blogosphere. "What's remarkable about the ad is there is nothing remarkable about it at all," Chris Matyszczyk writes in CNet's "Technically Incorrect" blog. "It's very neat, but very standard communication from Apple." Matyszczyk points out that Apple posted similar—perhaps even the same—footage of the iPad on its Web site during the introduction. (Google, incidentally, had also run its Super Bowl ad on the Web months before.) YouTube commenters also seem unimpressed. One points out that the ad was pretty much the same, save for the soundtrack music, as a 2007 ad for the iPod Touch. (Note: a TBWA\C\D rep could not confirm if this version was an official ad or a similar one from Nick Haley.) Does it matter that Apple's ad was sort of meh? Probably not. Whatever the ad's merits, the device looked pretty cool. Rather than thinking "Apple is slipping," most people watching the ad likely instead thought, "I want to get me one of those."
—Posted by Todd Wasserman