Wednesday, September 26, 2007

An Open Letter to the Apple Marketing Department

Dear Apple,

Let me just start out by stating that I am a big fan of the Apple iPod and it's family of portable mp3 players. I myself have a rather outdated, but still reliable 3rd generation iPod, which continues to allow me to carry and listen to, without boundaries, all my Billy Joel albums and everything else that makes up my sizable mp3 library. I bought my mother an iPod shuffle and the engineers over at Palo Alto should take the greatest of pride in the fact that their design was ingeniously simple enough for even my technology challenged mother to operate unaided. The iPod has truly changed the way I, neigh the world consumes media and it's undeniable effect on contemporary culture is a testament to its innovative functionality and ascetics.

With that being said, could you please, in the name of consumer safety, stop or at the very least significantly cut down on playing that FREAKIN' iPOD NANO COMMERCIAL WITH THE FEIST SONG!!!

I understand that the third generation of the iPod Nano is a big deal to the company and when something new like this product is introduced you want as much attention and exposure for it as possible. However, I believe there's only so much the American TV watching public can take. No exaggeration, in the last three weeks that I've watch NFL games on Sundays and Monday nights, I must have averaged at least two dozen viewings of that commercial per game. I don't think more then a single commercial break went by without me hearing the ghostly voice of Leslie Feist counting to four. It has become the stupid John Mellencamp "Our Country" song of this year. However, it's worse since "Our Country" is still playing fairly frequently this year.

Of course this isn't limited to just Sunday football action. The commercial itself is also in fairly heavy rotation on both network and cable TV. It's pretty obvious you're upping the dosage since the new fall season is beginning. Actually it has also existed perversely beyond the world of tv and into the world of not TV since HBO's heavily advertised promos during the summer using the song. Of course the HBO issue is no fault on your part maybe you guys should have looked into it; and it still doesn't take away the fact that I'm muttering the lyrics in my sleep.

I'm sure everyone of in the marketing department took some sort of advertising class in college and many of you might remember the work of advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves, the unique selling proposition guy? As you may recall, Reeves advocated that ads shouldn't entertain, move, educate, enlighten, or basically do anything else but unrelentingly hammer into the brain of the viewer the monotonous single slogan to buy their product. This method initially worked but people eventually refused to tolerate this hyper aggressive, creatively fascist approach to adverting and has been abandoned by most companies. However, in an ironic twist this is exactly what you guys seem to be doing. For all the modern, style, hipness, and chic creativity that Apple supposedly prides itself on, slamming the same, repetitive, unchanging commercial on the TV viewer, over and over again like some sort of advertising Chinese water torture trap is about as modern as McCarthyism.

So in conclusion, as Roberto Duran famously said "No Mas!". You're all highly paid marketing wizards, can't you find a less obtrusive way to get word out on the Nano? I mean, you could start by maybe I dunno...showing ANOTHER SONG? We've all seen how well the Nano can play "1234" by Feist, how about further demonstrations? I'm sure there are plenty of indie songstresses out there with equally intimate sparse, catchy songs; Cat Power or Regina Spektor both have plenty of commercial ready tunes. You don't need an advertising washout like me telling you exactly what to do, but it's just a start, this is America in the most mediated age human history, there are OTHER CHOICES.


Victor Lee

P.S. I'm no design engineer or anything but do you really think people want to watch tiny 2 inch videos? Will we ever be in a situation where we want to watch a music video or an episode of "The Office" that desperately the we can't wait until a TV or a computer screen or even a regular sized iPod is available? I'm just saying...

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