Visual communication is a different thing in different markets, with the consumers being the "late adopters" in this case. While this might be true, as we're still in the early adoption stages of these technologies/services, it is probably all about to change in 2009.
Living in Israel, I wasn't exposed to any videophone ad on TV, but there have been a few in the US, which were targeted consumers directly.
Here are some I bumped into following twitter:
As you can see, Skype are doing a great job showing off how video conversations on a PC can look like. It goes to show how HD can really liven up a video conversation. However, the great part about this ad is definitely the music.
This one comes from Cisco, who is trying to move their Telepresence story to the consumer space. They have a Telepresence ad for the enterprise space as well.
The Celebrity Apprentice show had the ACN videophone featured in it, which caused my twitter searches to be spammed with MLMers of this videophone.
A bit lame on technology, but goes to show how video calling is being pushed to consumers: Oprah Winfrey surprises Ellen DeGeneres with a video telephone call during taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The thing to notice here is the use of the term "Skyping In", and in the context of a video call.
5LINX got this TV spot to promote their videophone service. It shows what you can do with video today at low bandwidths, with SD resolution of course.
2009 may seem like the year of the videophone to some - at least to those of us who work at the video communication industry for several years already. I believe the year of the videophone will be 2010, when you'll start seeing some real cool products going out to consumers with higher resolutions and higher video quality.