Five years later: Do Apple’s first iPhone ads ring a bell?

Next week marks the 5th anniversary of Apple's public release of first iPhone

Time flies when you're becoming the world's most popular mobile phone: The iPhone turns five next week.

The iPhone hit retail stores on June 29, 2007 - at the oddball hour of 6 p.m. - by which time the Apple marketing machine had generated deafening buzz. The first iPhone TV commercial aired during the Oscars ceremony Feb. 25 and featured 32 famous actors saying "hello" or some variation, followed by Apple's simple message about the iPhone: "Coming in June."  

(In case you're curious, we'll identify all the "hello" actors, movies and TV shows in a moment, at least to the best of the abilities of YouTube users, which in this case seems a little shaky.)

By mid-June 2007, Apple was airing a quartet of iPhone commercials, which a helpful YouTuber took the time to compile into this next two-minute video:

You know a company knows they've nailed it when their advertising shows only the product and how it works ... with a few finger swipes.

(Watch Steve Ballmer laugh at the iPhone ... 5 years ago)

One shows and describes the basics: "This is how you turn it on ... This is your music ... This is your email ... This is the Web ... and this is a call, on your iPhone."

Another emphasizes the centerpiece: "This is not a watered down version of the Internet ... or the mobile version of the Internet ... Or the kinda-sorta looks like the Internet, Internet ... It's just the Internet, on your phone."

OK, back to the lineup of actors in that first spot. Here's what the YouTube description tells us about the list, with disputes noted.

  1. Alfred Hitchcock, director, Dial M For Murder (1954)
  2. Lucile Ball - I Love Lucy TV Show (1956-64)
  3. Jackie Gleason - The Honeymooners (1955-56)
  4. Humphrey Bogart - Key Largo (1948) ... (At least two YouTube commenters say it's Maltese Falcon, not Key Largo.)
  5. Marlon Brando - A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or On The Waterfront (1954) ... (At least two YouTube commenters says Streetcar.)
  6. Jerry Lewis - The Bellboy (1960)
  7. Marilyn Monroe - Some Like It Hot (1959)
  8. Clark Gable - It Happened One Night (1934) ... (Several YouTubers dispute this, though no alternative offered.)
  9. Peter Sellers - The Pink Panther (1963)
  10. Steve McQueen - The Getaway (1972) ... (YouTube commenter says that's wrong; it's from Bullitt.)
  11. Richard Dryfus - American Graffiti (1973)
  12. Burt Reynolds - Boogie Nights (1997)
  13. Bea Benaderet, voice of Betty Rubble - The Flintstones (1959-66)
  14. Robert Redford - Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  15. Michael J. Fox - Back To The Future (1985)
  16. Harrison Ford - The Fugitive (1993)
  17. John Cusak - High Fidelity (2000)
  18. Audrey Tautou - Amélie (2001)
  19. Kevin Spacey - L.A. Confidential (1997)
  20. William H. Macy - Fargo (1996)
  21. Dustin hoffman - Meet The Fockers (2004)
  22. Will Ferrell - Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
  23. Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex & The City (1998-2004)
  24. Jeff Bridges - The Big Lebowski (1998)
  25. Billy Crystal - When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  26. Cameron Diaz - Charlie's Angels (2000)
  27. Samuel L. Jackson - Jackie Brown (1997)
  28. John Travolta - Face Off (1997)
  29. Robert DeNiro - City By the Sea (2002)
  30. Ben Stiller as (Derek) Zoolander (2001)
  31. Michael Douglas - The American President (1995)
  32. Craig T. Nelson's Voice as Bob Parr - The Incredibles (2004) 

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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