10 Songs Steve Jobs Made Famous

From the Black Eyed Peas to Chilly Gonzales, a Look Back at Silhouettes, Shuffles and iPads

By:  Published: August 26, 2011

Not only was Steve Jobs a legendary marketer during his reign atApple, he also proved to have quite the ear for music, too. With longtime agency TBWA Media Arts Lab, Apple has spent the better part of the last decade launching and advancing the careers of indie, pop and rock acts with its trendsetting ads for the iPod, iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. Here are 10 of the most memorable songs and their spots.

Black Eyed Peas: “Hey Mama”
iPod 3G (2004)The ad that started it all. Not only was this the first in TBWA‘s series of “Silhouettes” spots, it also established the Black Eyed Peas — not to mention members Fergie and Will.I.Am — among the brand-savviest artists out there.

Jet: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?”
iPod 3G

Just as creatives tired of using Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” in every ad imaginable, along came these Australian rockers to update that song’s formula.

U2: “Vertigo”
Special-Edition iPod (2004)

U2 didn’t need the exposure, but this lead single from their 2004 album “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” certainly benefited. It’s become their biggest hit of the last seven years.

The Caesars: “Jerk It Out”
iPod Shuffle (2005)

Years before Peter Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks” whistled its way into ubiquity, this Swedish indie-rock band scored a major coup when Apple used their song “Jerk It Out” to score its first iPod Shuffle ad.

Daft Punk: “Technologic”
iPod (2005)

You would’ve thought the French robot-helmeted DJs were Apple copywriters the way this 2004 single perfectly synced with the iPod creative.

Feist: “1 2 3 4”
iPod Nano (2007)

The Canadian folk-pop singer already had a solid following among the Pitchfork circuit, but this ad showcasing the iPod Nano’s video features catapulted Feist into the mainstream Starbucks crowd.

Ting Ting’s: “Shut Up And Let Me Go”
iPod (2008)

This memorable “Silhouette” ad was the first in a series of commercial licensing deals for the U.K. indie-poppers, with songs “Great DJ,” “That’s Not My Name” and “We’re Not The Loud” all making major appearances in ads.

Yael Naim: “New Soul”
MacBook Air (2008)

The little-known French-Israeli singer-songwriter was instantly elevated from obscurity when her song “New Soul” was used to score this “envelope”-pushing spot from MacBook Air.

Chairlift: “Bruises”
iPod Nano-Chromatic (2008)

Perhaps one of the oddest songs ever to score an Apple ad, but also one of the best.

Chilly Gonzales: “Never Stop”
iPad (2010)

Three years after “1 2 3 4” became a global hit thanks to iPod, Feist’s occasional collaborator, Chilly Gonzales, snagged a major placement in this iPad ad.


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