Apple sold its first 3G iPhone in the world at the Vodafone store in Queen St, Auckland, New Zealand, at 00:01am on the 11th of July, 2008. The New Zealand Yellow Pages worked with Auckland agency AIM Proximity to capitalize on the action by secretly sponsoring “iPhone Jonny” to be the first customer.
Jonny Gladwell, a personal friend of one of the AIM Proximity staff, waited in line for three days and three nights in front of an Auckland Vodafone store, receiving worldwide exposure for the stunt. His three day wait was documented online at 1stinline.blogspot.com, with stories about using Yellow Pages to acquire food and shelter, get a barbershop shave, work out on an exercycle, and host a dinner party. The site received 760 Diggs. The day after Jonny purchased the phone, Yellow revealed their secret using a full-page newspaper ad.
The iPhone Jonny campaign was developed at AIM Proximity, New Zealand, by creative director Dave King, deputy creative director Tony Clewett, copywriter Michelle Rajalingham and production manager Paul Pritchard.
The campaign was awarded a silver for Direct Marketing and bronze for Outdoor at Adfest, Thailand, along with a silver and the Direct Marketing Courageous Client award at the John Caples Awards for Direct Marketing Excellence in New York, for “innovative advertising an insecure client would never authorise”.
Photograph above from MatthewB at Flickr.