The pulsing, energetic track ‘Cubicle’ by Rinocerose pulses in the background as recognizable CD covers from the Doors to Sinatra to Beck flip and spin and eventually build a virtual city of skyscrapers. At the end of the spot, the albums are sucked into an iPod Nano, which displays each album cover in color on its screen as it is incorporated. Then we see a black screen with the words, “1000 songs in your pocket” in white letters. It is followed by a screen with the Apple logo in white and the words “iPod + iTunes.”
This advertising blog loves single-minded advertising. Dramatic and simple, this iPod spot is narrowmindedly focused on a single purpose. The visual metaphor of vastness created by building a city from album covers and then moving them all into a single small device neatly explains the end benefit of an iPod to the uninitiated. There is not a single wasted thought or motion in this spot which uses both the aural and visual elements of music to reinforce the point. Apple and TWBA/Chiat/Day are smart enough to realize that most people without iPods know what they are and many have thought about buying. So the spot works to drive in that core end benefit with such energy that it jolts straight through to the wallet. The animation of the albums flowing into the iPod Nano as the screen precisely cycles through them, displaying the artwork at the same time is brilliantly realized.
While this is an iPod spot, the end benefit being promoted is a category benefit not exclusive to the iPod. We do not see this as a problem, however, as Apple has a dominant share in this category. Category advertising is appropriate for a category leader like iPod. While some consumers will choose to buy other players, Apple will get more than its fair share of sales from category advertising. The choice of music may not be ideal for part of the audience that Apple is trying to woo – older consumers who are late adopters of this type of technology. Apple has been very good at using other types of music with the iPod in other spots, however.
Branding Bottom Line:
Apple reminds us that great advertising can be fun.