“Silhouette” TV ads for the Apple iPod


When it comes to marketing any product, you're never just selling a product; you're selling a feeling, or a lifestyle, or something bigger than the product itself. You want consumers to be able to connect with a product on an emotional level, and the one way to do that is to give your product personality or traits that your target audience can relate too.

Lots of ads will attempt to target a very specific audience and goes as far as too cater very exclusive to them. A company will cast actors that look like their intended consumers and have them act in a way that those consumers would act to form a bond between whatever it is they are trying to seel and its potential consumer base. The silhouettes in the iPod commercials did this in a very simple yet effective way because the silhouettes were so generic.

The iPod was targetting younger people, likely that broad spectrum of 18-35-year-olds that everyone wants to advertise to, but by putting their dancers in the shadows, it allowed everyone to see a bit of themselves in the commercials.

No longer were you looking at a specific person in a particular environment interacting with the iPod (like in the first commercial). Still, now you were seeing a variety of people just dancing. It was easy to identify with these silhouettes because they essentially represented "the masses," they were no one group, one type of person, or one "look," they were just people enjoying music — who can't relate to that?

--Luke Filipowicz

Still image from TV ad for the Apple iPod
Source: www.imore.com
Still image from TV ad for the Apple iPod