The Built iPod Trend – The iPod Silhouette

The silhouette of the iPod is known throughout the world. In fact, there doesn’t have to be a name on the ad, or even a clear image of the iPod product, and yet the public knows that the ad belongs to the ever-innovative Apple. A marketing ploy that took on a life of its own, the silhouette of the iPod is now an icon in its own right, just like the device it was intended to market, the iPod.

When Apple was about to market the iPod, it needed advertising that would stick in the minds of its customers. They wanted something that represented the awesomeness of the iPod, something that would change the face of advertising as easily as the iPod could change the face of the music industry. The iPod was revolutionary, so the advertising had to be revolutionary too.

The famous iPod commercial began with a person dancing, in shadow, against a brightly colored background. The silhouette danced to the music while holding an iPod and listening to the tunes through the iconic headphones, which appeared in white in the ads, so they stood out from the dancer and background. The sight became so common that it soon had its own name: The Silhouette.

The ads were an instant hit, and the iPod campaign became recognizable virtually overnight. The silhouette was not only popular on TV, it was also common to see a silhouette, caught in a moment of wild dancing, on the side of a building or a billboard, iPod in hand. Occasionally an ad would appear without an iPod in view, but the headphones were shown, a sign that even iPod accessories had entered mainstream culture.

The silhouette ad has changed a bit over the years, but still features the same classic style of a dancing silhouette against a contrasting background. In some cases, only part of the ad was contrasting. In a more recent ad for the new aluminum color of some iPod cases, dancers are seen waving their iPods in the air, and a trail of luminescent light follows the device around the screen.

The silhouette ads were so popular that celebrities clamored to appear in them. The ads developed their own following, with customers searching for the new ones, and discussions about who might appear next were common on message boards. The silhouette of the iPod began to appear on television shows. Soon, the silhouette of the iPod was represented by tastemakers and legends alike, including U2, Mary J. Blige, Paul McCartney, Eminem, and Bob Dylan.

The silhouette has also found its way into other parts of popular culture. It is now a popular technique for wedding photos, common among scrapbooking enthusiasts, and often appears on signs and car decals. Apple has always been at the forefront of advertising, but never was this more evident than in the iPod silhouette announcements and the storm of appreciation that followed.

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