On April 28, 2003, Apple forever changed the face of the music industry when it launched the iTunes Music Store. And to help usher in a new age of digital music commerce, Apple ran a series of ads on its website that you could never imagine running today. Hell, I'm surprised some of them were even green-lit back then.
The ads depict everyday people singing along to their favorite songs, iPod in tow.
Sounds innocent enough, but check out the videos Apple actually chose to grace its website.
First up, we have a likable-enough fella named Nick singing Sir Mix-A-Lot's seminal hit, "Baby Got Back." Funny enough, at the time this ad first aired, "Baby Got Back" wasn't even available for purchase via the iTunes Store.
But wait, there's more!
Here's a kid named Jacob singing Eminem's "Lose Yourself."
As far as I know, these ads only ran during the iTunes Music Store media event and on Apple's website. In other words, I don't think these advertising gems ever hit the TV airwaves.
But thanks to the magic of the internet Wayback Machine, I did discover that these ads lived on Apple's website up until December of 2004. At a certain point, though, Apple completely removed Nick's and Jacob's videos. I guess Apple realized that having a random dude singing the lyrics "makes me so horny" wasn't exactly a good look for its website. Also, Eminem took to suing Apple in May of 2004 for using his song without permission.
Not to worry, though. Some of the adverts actually featured some talent. Here is Nava singing the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There."
And here's Tyra with an impressive rendition of Pink's "Get The Party Started."
That talent I spoke of just a minute ago? Well perhaps I spoke too soon.
And a point of interest, a MacRumors post from mid-April 2003 highlighted a casting call for an Apple commercial searching for people of all ages "who are not afraid to sing their favorite song with lots of energy."
And so it began.
One final observation: As someone who's had a hate-hate relationship with Apple's earbuds for many years now, what I find most surprising about these videos is not that they used to grace Apple's website, but rather that the earbuds depicted stay put for the duration of each commercial.