The company shunned the Super Bowl in favour of a web-based ad celebrating the Apple Macintosh's legacy.
The original Apple Macintosh made its public debut as a multi-million-dollar TV commercial, directed by Ridley Scott and aired during the Super Bowl, in 1984.
Thirty years on, rumours had been rife that Apple was planning something equally spectacular to celebrate the computer's anniversary milestone that coincided with the NFL's flagship event.
Apple didn't disappoint, but instead of buying ad space on a U.S. network, it uploaded the 90-second ad to the web.
That in itself is anything but remarkable, but the ad was shot entirely with iPhones -- 100 in all -- by 15 different crews based in 10 countries spread over five continents on January 24, the exact date of the Mac's birthday.
In all, 36 hours of footage were collected. The whole thing was coordinated and directed by Jake Scott, Ridley's son, who used FaceTime (Apple's video calling service) to keep in touch with and instruct the various cameramen and women while the films, streamed back to a central command center, were pieced together and edited live.
And just as Apple's 1984 Mac ad was hailed as revolutionary, Apple is already claiming that its approach to creating the ad will become the de facto way of overseeing multi-location film shoots in the future.