Who are the Ad Wizards?

Putting the you in iPod | February 4, 2010

Insert target audience here.

Everyone can recognize the wonderful job Apple has done at marketing their iPod. The oddest aspect of their effective advertising is the lack of a represented target audience.

In advertising, we’re taught that the target audience is almost as important as the product itself. It’s common practice to show a representative of the target audience. Someone who the target audience can look at and picture themselves as being. The idea is that if the target audience can imagine themselves in the ad, there’s a better chance of them purchasing the product. The downside is that the ad may dissuade potential customers outside the target audience because the product is “not for them.” But what Apple’s ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, did was allow the target audience put itself in their ads. The silhouetted image is literally a blank canvass that anyone can be placed in.

In the above ad, we can assume the depicted person is female, but we cannot determine age, education level, marital status, or any other target audience standard measurements. This allows the target audience to receive the message, and not discriminate everyone else.


  1. I totally agree with this. While I see the target audience as being extremely important, I also do see the need to step out of the box sometimes. When I used to work at Verizon Wireless they would always stress about knowing who to present each product to. But, then you would have a customer walk in and totally throw things off, like a 75 year old woman who wanted a Blackberry, who would have thought? I think what Apple has done is extremely smart and seems to be working for them. Their profits keep going up even in a recession.

    Comment by trina02 — February 5, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  2. What I like about this ad is that it also does not show the persons skin color. It can be anyone. Black, White, Hispanic, etc. This ad shows that Apple does not discriminate in regards to a persons color when selling a product. I miss those ads.

    Comment by kaioken7 — February 12, 2010 @ 3:54 am

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