First Palm Pre ad, plus exclusive details of ad campaign rollout | webOS Nation

First Palm Pre ad, plus exclusive details of ad campaign rollout 34

by Derek Kessler Thu, 04 Jun 2009 3:33 pm EDT

Palm’s been teasing it for a few days now, and they’ve finally posted their first ad for the Palm Pre, titled “Flow” and directed by feature film director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall).


The ad was put together by ad agency Modernista!, who has done work for Cadillac, BusinessWeek, Converse, Napster, and Product(RED) amongst others. Flow was shot in and around the Chinese cities of Beijing, Zhengzhou, Dengfeng, and Kunming. The guys in orange you see are over 1,000 martial arts dancers from the Shaolin Kung Fu School in Dengfeng. Used here to show how your life and the Palm Pre experience ‘flow’, these talented young dancers previously performed in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The woman we see here - ‘Anima’ - will be a recurring character in Palm’s Pre ad campaign, which will focus on the phone’s ability to anticipate the user’s needs.

Check out Palm’s making-of video after the break, plus get the exclusive first details on Palm’s upcoming Pre ad campaign.


As you may recall, the ad campaign kicked into viral mode a week ago with Palm issuing an invitation via their Facebook and Twitter pages to watch the yesterday’s premiere of the ad, along with a series of behind-the-scenes and making-of videos about the ad. Flow will go live today on, as well as on various social-networking and video-sharing websites.

Even though the Pre is going on sale on Saturday, June 6, Palm’s ad campaign won’t kick fully into gear for a full two weeks after that on June 21 with an expensive homepage take-overs of YouTube (the #3 website worldwide, serving up more than 100 million video views a day),, and Palm will also produce exclusive content for YouTube and will advertise its content integration on websites like the New York Times and Pandora.

June 22nd will mark the Pre’s first foray into television advertisements, outside of the brief un-credited appearances in Sprint’s Now Network commercials. Palm will focus on “in-season” primetime broadcast and cable shows such as Southland on NBC, Numb3rs on CBS, USA Network’s Burn Notice, and Mad Men on AMC, among others. Palm is also planning on making extensive use of outdoor digital advertisements, including ad space in airports, coffee shops, and various high-traffic office buildings.

So there you have it, the Palm Pre ad campaign in a nutshell. Be sure to check back with PreCentral regularly for more on the Pre’s release, marketing, and other developments surrounding Palm.


I think the ad was OK. Not as good as I thought it would be. Definitely marketing to the women out there.

That's ****ing awesome. I can't wait for all the ads and media take over!

I liked the new ad. I also liked how the circle of dances looked liked the touch glow point when selecting something on the Pre.

Exactly! And I too thought it was a terrific Ad. Can't wait to see all the other ads.

what about adds at sporting events??? how about on news channels??? and social channels like spike, mtv, vh1, E,etc.??? is their head in their ass? come on. this is disheartening. or am i being too demanding?

All in good time. I have no doubt that Palm and Modernista know exactly what they're doing.

This was just Palm's ad. We still have Sprint which I'm sure will have ads for all the places you mentioned.

Ok, now this is obscure, and proves I have waaaay too much time on my hands waiting for Saturday.

According to USA Today, the actress in the ad is named "Tamara Hope".

According to this website, "Tamara" means "Palm Tree".

So her name means "Palm Hope". She's obviously the perfect choice to represent the Pre.

Awesome find.

this comment officially made you a fanboy, if you were not already before, which i suspect you were. and given that i'm reading this, i probably am too. so that said, let the insanity roollllllll

Wow, really cool find. I love stuff like this. I wonder if anyone involved in the commercial made the connection.

I updated her wikipedia entry to include the Palm Pre ads. I added this cool bit about Palm Hope but it was taken off within minutes for being "trivia". Isn't that what wikipedia is for?..Looking up trivia? Oh well.

That was superbowl worthy commercial actually.

I don't see why people here are saying it wasn't that great. The commercial isn't supposed to explain every aspect of the phone like Apple does with the people are unbelievable.

The commercial is intended to spark interest about the device for those who have not been following it like the folks on this sight have been. Palm's campaign premise is, like the commercial suggests, "flowing" or harmony. People see chinese kungfu people in perfect flowing harmony coupled with the plains and mountains it is implying how the device works so perfectly and simply with the world around you.

They are attempting to use a woman as opposed to a faceless male's voice, they are show explansiveness as opposed to the in your face nature of the apple campaign. wide open spaces versus right in your face...these are all polar opposites. Yes the commercial is some what effeminate, but what guy isn't going to be drawn to this thing? Don't we treat all our cars or electronics like they are women? So no, I don't think this excludes men at all. If anything having a simply dressed cute blonde girl modeling the device is a plus. Even her clothing's simplicity is supposed to give the off the idea of how easy the device is to use.

yeah my thought was that i'm too close to the product and that's why i'm soooo hard on the advertising. i dont know. i need to stop being such a pre-fectionist.

how exactly is that ad geared towards just women?

I think this commercial isn't that great.

The purpose of a commercial is to get peoples attention and convince them they want the protect. Though the commercial without any doubt gets a persons attention, it unfortunately creates a sense of calm, it also requires the viewer to analyze all the metaphors. Right now the general target are americans, who generally are lazy, we don't want to have to examine a commercial for all the hidden metaphors, we quite frankly want them blunt. for example: Hmm theres a bush, girl walks pass the bush and the bush turns into the shape of a V, whats the produce a razer for females.

This pretty much sums up the blunt part of the commercial "The new palm pre it makes your life simpler". But it lacks in telling me how and why I really need this device. It makes me have to think about the students are representing.

I think this commercial might to better outside the US.

Them's fightin' words! American's are some of the hardest working people in the history of the world. That's why so much innovation in technology and ideas has come from America for the last 200 years. The average American's work week is longer than all but a few countries in world.

Advertising is about moving your audience emotionally. This ad does that. My wife literally had watery eyes after the first time she saw it. This ad will cause people to draw near to find out more. I can't think of a more perfect first commercial for a device like the Pre that brings the next evolution in personal digital assistants.

This was a great ad. It really is nice they did an art style to it. Its great to get people who dont know anything about the Pre to look into it. I see it was not made to talk about all the tech and apps and things in it. Just to show that there is someting new out there that is coming out. Very well done.

Tarsem Singh directed it, and it shows. If you haven't seen "The Fall", queue it up in Netflix and check it out. Visual storybook telling for adults. Highly recommended.

Good ad for what they were shooting for.

I wish they lingered on the shots a little longer; some of the cuts are too quick to appreciate what is being done.

Um, isn't Southland's season over?

As is NUMB3RS, but they're both projected to be popular shows over summer re-runs.

Well, probably NUMBE3RS. I'm not sure why Southland was even renewed, given the first-run ratings...

Maybe they're trying the whole "making good TV" thing. BTW, the login system on this site sucks. I am completely unable to log on at home to reply to these. Put it back the way it was.

I showed the ad to my non-techie wife. She now wants a Pre!

That's EXACTLY what Palm wants! :D

I thought it was pretty lame, except for the shots that showed the girl flicking the screen (especially the Pandora shot). I'm sure that will catch people's attention (at least, the kind of people who would be using the phone, I would think)

Great testament and insight into the lives of the average American (some sarcasm implied)... However, I'm very different from what you would describe as a person with an American mindset, by that I mean I don't possess that mindset, with some exceptions of course. I am a motivated (phsycially and mentally) person. I'm not some lazy slob with zero desire to walk out into the sun from their cubicle.

With that said, I do think Americans are intelligent enough to understand this commercial...Americans are more often than not physically lazy but an attack on their intelligence is not accurate. Lazy, yes. Brain dead, no.

I thought the ad tried a little too hard. I think an ad like the video on the pre with some subtle changes (see below) would have done more for me..

Totally...that's a slick little video

Agreed, that's so much better at telling you what the phone is all about.

nice ad

At first I was a bit disappointed that they didn't show off more of the features, but after watching it a few more times, I now think it's near perfect. They don't need to explain everything right away -- for now they just need to get people's attention, and I don't think anyone is walking out of the room during that ad. Simply gorgeous.

Now if this is their only ad, then they're in big trouble. That video mentioned above would be a great SECOND ad.

Does anyone know what the music is in this ad? It is not original because I have heard it before. If anyone knows, please let me know.

By the way, I am an indie filmmaker and I just thought this ad was phenomenal. It almost brought a tear to my eye because of the beauty and the way everything in the commercial itself seemed to ebb and flow. I really liked it and I think its a great start to Palm's Pre ad campaign.

I understand Palm wanting to get people's attention with this ad. It is a beautiful visual and I get all the metaphors.

However, I'm not convinced that they needed to go all the way to China and recruit so many "extras" in order to film this. For a company that has to watch its pennies, I think that could have been done in a studio at home with a little CGI work. Granted, I don't know how much this commercial cost to make, but I'd wager that it could have been done cheaper and still have been just as visually effective.

But whatever it cost, I hope it does the job and is effective at getting the general population talking about the Pre (and more importantly...WANTING the Pre).

Time will tell.

She should let her hair down next time, to add to the flow theme.