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They made it sticky: Apple’s iPod silhouettes

Can you believe it? It's now fourteen years since the Apple iPod silhouette first graced our retinas.

The instantly iconic dancing figures first appeared in October 2003 and soon were everywhere you looked, from billboards to TV, from magazines to internet.

Want to see more ads that inspire? Take a look at Monty Python's Life of Brian or easyJet's Puns.

Initially, Steve Jobs was not a fan of the concept, pointing out that the silhouettes didn't show what the iPod did. But ad agency Chiat/Day stuck to their guns, and after three months of the silhouettes campaign, iPod sales had increased by 50 percent on the previous quarter.

It's such a clever campaign. The dancing figures epitomise freedom, individuality, pleasure and urban cool. And because the background is nothing but saturated colour, there's only one thing in the frame to associate with all that positive stuff — the iPod itself, beautifully picked out in white.

The ads take a piece of equipment that we buy because it's clever and well-engineered and redefine it as a must-have symbol of modern culture.

Nice. No wonder they won an award.

You can read the whole fascinating story behind the ads at this rather neat site.

 

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