FORTUNE -- At $1.6 to $1.8 million per 30-sec. spot, the Academy Awards are second only to the Superbowl as a high-value stage for advertisers to strut their stuff before a massive TV audience.
The Oscars were a different story. The two companies went head-to-head Sunday night with Hollywood-themed commercials that highlighted their contrasting approach to the medium this season.
Samsung once again went for story-telling and star-power with a series of interconnected spots that dropped Lebron James' name (again) and delivered director Tim (Frankenweenie) Burton but soft-pedaled Samsung's Galaxy line.
There was nothing soft about Apple's focus on its product line. Although the iPad commercial it debuted Sunday night showed the versatility of the format the company introduced last week, it's not likely to go viral any time soon.
The first TV ads gave Apple's tablet computer a short-lived shot in the arm
In the weeks since Steve Jobs unveiled his latest creation, public perception of the iPad has been all over the lot -- up, down and sideways.
The chart at right, produced by YouGov's BrandIndex, is a snapshot of that roller coaster ride taken in the days before and just after Apple (AAPL) aired the first iPad TV MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 19, 2010 11:05 AM ET
Steve Jobs, with his tux and his iPad, is a force to contend with in Hollywood
At the end of his amusing Infoworld post Monday about the 82nd Academy Awards, the writer who calls himself Robert X. Cringely asks a series of rhetorical questions:
"Who was the richest person in attendance? Who has the most influence and commands the biggest audience? Who's the least bound to Hollywood's old ways of doing business?"
The MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 10, 2010 12:28 PM ET
|GM's recalled Cobalt was a failure from the start|
|Pope Francis challenges the free market - The Buzz|
|How young tech millionaires invest|
|Americans have fallen in love with real estate once again|
|Why you should pay off your car loan ASAP|