The 30-second ad, filmed by acclaimed director Mark Romanek, aired on American Idol at 8pm East Coast Time and featured a clip of the band performing the new single Viva La Vida. An accompanying graphic stated: Viva La Vida Coldplay exclusively on iTunes.
The band's manager Dave Holmes of Santa Monica-based 3D Management says the ad clip was filmed a couple of weeks ago and is a significant coup since Apple has only shot similar exclusive iTunes ad spots for a handful of major acts such as Eminem, Mary J Blige, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. He also promised a wealth of other marketing activity - already first single Violet Hill was made available as a free download - as the album campaign unfolds over the next few weeks.
The ad follows other high-profile marketing activity leading up to the release of the album on June 16 in the UK and June 17 in the US, including giving away as a download for seven days the album's lead-off single Violet Hill, which was also cover-mounted as a seven-inch on the NME. The free download attracted more than 600,000 takers in the first 24 hours and more than 2m in total.
Meanwhile, the band are to play a free Barcelona concert on June 17 at the Espacio Movistar venue, in addition to previously announced free gigs in London and New York.