Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

iMade My Own!

Monday, December 13, 2004
Wired News thinks the future of advertising is here, in the form of George Masters' self-made iPod mini ad, not for profit but "just for fun"! Wired notes:

School teacher George Masters has the marketing world abuzz with a homemade ad for Apple Computer's iPod that is rapidly "going viral." To some experts, Masters' ad heralds the future of advertising. Homemade ads will play a big part in marketing, just like blogging is shaking up the news. Masters' 60-second animated ad features flying iPods, pulsing hearts and swirling '70s psychedelia. It's set to the beat of "Tiny Machine" by '80s pop band the Darling Buds. Masters quietly posted the spot to his site a few weeks ago. It received moderate traffic until it was picked up by several blogs last week. In a matter of days, the ad has been watched more than 37,000 times, and is making the rounds on blogs and e-mail. The ad has caught the attention of marketers, who praise its professional production values and say it's one of the first "pure" advertisements seen on the internet. Though homemade ads are nothing new, most are parodies, protests or political commentaries. [...] Stein said Masters' ad is the first "straight-up" consumer-produced spot he's aware of. Stein said he's seen spec ads from agencies made to attract clients, and viral ads created by pros disguised to look grass-roots, but he has not seen a TV spot created by a fan. Though his ad looks like it was done by a pro, Masters is a 36-year-old high school teacher from Orange County, California. He created the spot in his spare time. Working a couple of hours at a time, the ad took five months to make. The iPod ad is part homage to Apple and the iPod, part portfolio piece, but mostly just practice, Masters said. "I did it for fun," he said. "I love motion graphics. I like creating visuals."
I've got to admit, the ad is very well-made: slick and funky. But what if Masters was using his talent for good; or is advertising "art"? I know Warhol made advert-art famous, but wasn't that parody? Or is Masters' work just about showing off his talent? Maybe Apple will buy the ad? (If it was a Microsoft ad, Bill Gates might sue, but I doubt Steve Jobs would be stupid enough to taint such good free publicity!)

See Masters' funky iPod Mini ad here on the Wired server. [Via Smart Mobs]

Update (14 Dec 04, 8.10am): Alex Halavais calls this trend "customer evangelism", a quick apt term, I think. Meanwhile, Masters' free iPod ad looks pretty good compared with service like iPodMyPhoto which charge $10 US to make your home snaps into an iPod silhouette advertisement. I suspect someone out there may write a program to do this and freely distribute it soon ...

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