2003: Apple releases its silhouette campaign for iPod

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Sarah Giannantonio, senior director and group planning director at Maxus. Below, find out why Apple’s iPod silhouette campaign is her favorite marketing moment.

I love this campaigns because it exudes energy, with a focus was on the universally appealing nature of music and how it quite literally moves us, instead of the product itself. In fact, the iPod itself is barely visible, and the lack of copy allows the white headphones to pop as they bounce around with the faceless and unidentifiable dancers.

Whether in commercial format or static, the bright colors and caught-in-a-dance freeze frame conveyed movement. And as silhouettes, these dancers could be any one of us. We’ve all been there, letting loose to a great song, ‘dancing like nobody is watching.'

This campaign reminded us that life is better – more FUN – with a soundtrack along for the ride, and by stylizing and focusing on the white headphones, these ads set iPods apart as a fashion trend as well as the latest must-have tech (a two-for-one worth the high price point for the iPod).

The campaign immediately worked, and a status symbol quickly emerged. Soon, everyone was sporting white headphones (even those who didn’t splurge for the iPod itself bought white headphones). Apple secured over 90% of the market share the year of the campaign launch, more than over 10 years later, white headphones continue to dominate.

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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