The first time I got fired was in part because I said that FedEx's "fast-talking man" commercial was the best direct spot ever created. That made my boss furious. There was no phone number! No repetition of the offer! No call to action! Boom. I was canned for what she regarded as my lack of understanding and heresy.
Since then, I've continued my private onslaught against the tyranny of didactic definitions and rigid classifications. If you read AdAged regularly you know that I believe in advertising and that all these sub-categories (like direct, interactive, health care, whatever) are so much nonsense.
Today, I'd argue that the best of Apple advertising is direct. You know what you have to do and why you have to do it. My two cents says that iPhone ads will gain an ROI "direct" ads can only envy. No wonder TBWA/Chiat/Day (or wherever the virgules lay) keeps winning Effie after Effie for their work.
And that brings me to today's advertising verbal appendage. The word "interactive." I suppose there's a complicated technical definition, but the word in its simplest for means that people get involved and participate with whatever the stimulus is. Man, if your ad doesn't stimulate some kind of response, it sucks and you should start over. Because if your work ain't interactive, it ain't advertising.