Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"iPod...Do You?"

I just returned from a weekend in LA. It's always fun to go to that fabulous West Coast entertainment mecca to see what's advertised as the latest and greatest.

Known for its entertainment glitz, I was struck by the large amount of outdoor advertising for iPods. Not only is the art phenomenal; as it sells the passion and emotion of owning the device, but it occured to me no other portable music player comes close to advertising the way Apple does for the iPod.

Most of us in marketing talk about 'blocking and tackling'; the basics involved in selling our products core virtues when we create outdoor advertising. In the iPods short life span, the famed 'white headphones' have become iconic in themselves. I find this fascinating on a couple of levels.

Apple assumes that putting an image of a body dancing, with the famed 'white headphones' automatically conveys the iPods essence. In fact, all of the walls and billboards I saw didn't even mention music, iPod features like the iTouch or even the iPhone. Each ad simply conveyed the 'freedom' of owning your own music.

Call me a gadgeteer, but I still own several early mp3 players, rio's, muvo's and early iPod shuffles. Today I listen to most of my music on my smartphone. But Apple still prevails as the #1 lifestyle music player.

Not many products can get away with the 'iPod' advertising assumption. Maybe Nike, Coke, Pepsi and a few others.

In each of those cases, the brand logo has become so deeply entrenched in our psyche that we can instantly recall the product.

What's more interesting is that compared to some of the aforementioned products, the iPod is the youngest; yet Apple's assumption is that we all do 'iPod'.

It gets me thinking about all the products I've worked for and how I collaborated with others to market and package them on television, in print and outdoor.

Never once do I believe that we would have ever said...'hey lets just put up the logo'...we were always obsessed with adding more information than just sticking to the basics.

Maybe Apple is right...less is more and just find images that sell the emotion rather than 'barking' our brands attributes.

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