The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Citizen … advertising?

I suppose we’ve been talking about citizen journalism for so long that citizen advertising was inevitable.

The news is a bit late for some of you Applephiles, but I just picked up on it today that Apple’s latest commercial for its iPod Touch is actually a YouTube remake. Apparently a guy named Nick Haley liked his Touch so much he posted an online tribute on YouTube, and Apple took the concept and made it their latest commercial (it’s the one that goes “Music is my boyfriend …” and you’re welcome for me planting that song in your head for the rest of the day). I’ve seen the original and the actual commercial, and while there are some visual differences in terms of media, the concept remains intact and there really is no difference between them if you ask me (other than the inclusion of Dave Grohl, which is many degrees of awesome). I’m assuming most of what Apple did was for the purpose of getting the resolution needed for television.

Anyhow, fake commercials of this kind have been around on YouTube for a while, but this is the first time I have seen a company pick it up and use it for a wider marketing campaign. I’m not claiming it’s the first time, but it’s the first I’ve run into. And perhaps there is a legitimizing influence that happens, similar to what happens when CNN gives citizen journalism reportage via iReport some credibility by running it on the air. And there’s a cultural critique to be had here somewhere when the consumer is now savvy enough to design what has turned out to be a hit commercial.

And as Wired’s “Epicenter” blog pointed out a couple weeks ago, this is yet another example of how Apple gets it. “Rather than send him a cease-and-desist letter, they bought his ad, flew him out to Los Angeles to reshoot it in high def, and will be broadcasting it during the World Series this weekend. THAT’S how you love your customers, people!”

By the way, I did not find this through news media online (as if this post hasn’t been depressing enough, right?). I actually was googling the lyrics because we here at the Littau homestead have been trying to figure out if the lyrics are as innuendo-loaded as they sound (um, yeah they are). And in the Google search I found the NYT story.

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November 14, 2007 - Posted by | Jeremy Littau

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