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History of iPod Ads

15 Jun 2005  |  Tags:

Apple’s had some terrible commercials, and some decent/pretty-good ones as well. The iPod’s had quite a history, and TV spots since long before you know what an iPod even was! :P… Let’s break it down by generation.

First and Second Generation iPods

They called Steve Jobs crazy. “An over-priced music player?…” — In reality, the iPod was kind of a silly idea when Apple had ‘bigger fish to fry’ at the time (if you know what I mean), but they had a brilliant marketing team that got the little glossy white players in the hands of celebrities and, well… like the T-Mobile Sidekick… things went from there. This was the original player; the first generation had an actual *moving* clickwheel and all. Yes, if you remember, it was an actual wheel that spinned around as you scrolled. (it was ghetto like that… spinner rims on muh chromed out… I’ll just stop there.)

The first-gen iPod originally had a single commercial… with a geek, moon-walking to techno music. — I don’t recall seeing this particular ad on TV. :) — It’s too silly and, quite frankly, I have no idea what audience they were after. This was clearly *before* their marketing team stepped-in.

What actually made it onto my local stations were Apple’s original ‘Switch-style, but singing’ ads, with various… random people simply singing.. wearing the famous white-earbuds… iPod in-hand. I thought these ads sucked almost as much as the whole ‘Switch’ campaign in general, but at least the music was a little better than the “dum, dum dum dum, dum” theme that was… well… dumb!

Third Generation, iTunes for Windows, and beyond

When the iPod was redesigned without physical buttons (all touch-sensitive), and sporting a new, red and blue lighting combination, some newer TV spots finally emerged focusing around the debut of iTunes for Windows. (we’re talking slightly separate time-frames here.) Previously, Apple offered Musicmatch as a solution for Windows-based iPod users, but without much encouragement until its own software solution hit the shelves.

The ever-so-annoying, yet cool-to-begin-with ‘silhouette’ ads appeared sporting the message “iPod + iTunes… Now for Windows.” Good call, Apple… you got the word out. :) Since then, we’ve seen several genres of these ads appear.

Special editions of these ads have appeared as well, such as U2’s “Vertigo”. Other 3rd generation ads had to do with cars. Clearly, the BMW one was the best. The lighting completes the urban feel and it’s one of the only commercials by Apple that hasn’t pissed me off.

Note: I’m not mentioning the various iTunes Superbowl commercials for the Pepsi ‘Yellow-Cap’ free-song giveaways because those aren’t for the iPod. :)

Fourth Generation, iPod Shuffle… nothing. Apple has simply carried the 3rd generation ‘silhouette’ ads over to suite these newer players. They also did a special edition for the iPod shuffle, which is mentioned above.

Fifth Generation, Video, Bluetooth… what’s to come? The iPod Photo is pretty lame, and Apple is way overdue for an update. I’m can’t wait to see what they come up with next. ;)


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