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Sound Effects

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Brand: Apple
Agency: TBWA Chiat/Day
Creative Directors: Ken Segall and Duncan Milner

Who needs Jeff Goldblum? In its new spots for the latest crop of iMacs, Apple dispenses with the actor whose mellifluous, gleeful voice-overs ushered in the very first Bondi Blue Little Computer That Could two years ago. To plug the new ruby-red model, Apple presents nothing more than slo-mo, close-up, panning shots of the iMac, set to the soundtrack of Dion's "Ruby Baby." The effect is simultaneously erotic -- you won't find more worshipful camera work this side of a Herb Ritts celebrity photo shoot -- and guilelessly charming. Each of the other new iMac flavors also gets its own 30-second spot and color-specific soundtrack (indigo gets Elvis's "Blue Suede Shoes"; snow gets Cream's "White Room"), while the new Apple Pro Mouse races around to Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild." No product specs, no testimonials, no nothing. No other major computer brand could afford to go this minimal, but 3.7 million sales later, we all get the iMac, so there's no need for narrative. Apple's already rewritten the rules of product design; now it's overhauled the visual vocabulary of the product pitch. You're supposed to imagine that when you take home an iMac, you're inviting a superstar -- one worthy of its own music videos -- to live with you. Since the new iMacs are basically the same as the old iMacs, just slightly faster and smarter, the company is simply selling what it has always sold best: the glamorous, seductive Apple mythology.


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