Advertising Age: Bob Dylan tops music chart again – and Apple’s a big reason why

“It used to be that when sales of a Bob Dylan record soared, the success would come courtesy of the inevitable five-star reviews of his controversial but lyrical take on the zeitgeist and his sacred place in pop culture. Now he can thank Apple, too,” Matthew Creamer reports for AdAge.com.

“When his album ‘Modern Times‘ was released Aug. 29, it was accompanied by a rare thing: a heavy public presence by Mr. Dylan, long a recluse who’s come out of his shell late in his career to write a book, conduct a PR blitz and man a satellite-radio show. But most atypically, Mr. Dylan starred in a gorgeous TV ad for Apple’s iTunes and iPod. Rather than shout him down as a sellout, consumers turned out in droves, making ‘Modern Times‘ his first chart-topper since 1976’s ‘Desire.’ It hit No. 1 on Billboard its first week in release, climbing over more commercial and younger-skewing acts such as Christina Aguilera and Outkast,” Creamer reports.

Creamer reports, “The iTunes spot wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill celebrity-endorsement deal in which a big brand signs a big check to tap into the equity of a big star. This one flipped the formula, with the all-powerful Apple brand giving Mr. Dylan access to younger demographics and helping propel his sales to places they hadn’t been since the Ford administration. ‘The iTunes tie-in definitely did more for Bob than it did for [Apple], making him seem younger, cooler and more progressive,’ said M.T. Carney, partner at Naked Communications in New York.”

Creamer reports, “That doesn’t mean Apple didn’t have anything to gain.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Pete” for the heads up.]
[Bob Dylan] was a very clear thinker, and he was a poet. I think he wrote about what he saw and thought. The early stuff is very precise. But, as he matured, you know, you had to unravel it a little bit. But once you did, it was just as clear as a bell. I was listening the other day to “Only a Pawn In Their Game.” You know, when Medgar Evers was shot there were all these folk songs written about it. Dylan thought it through so carefully, and wrote this brilliant song about it. And that stuff’s as good today as when he penned it… Steve Wozniak turned me on to him. I was probably … oh … maybe 13, 14.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs (Rolling Stone, December 03, 2003)

Related articles:
Apple posts new iPod+iTunes Bob Dylan ad online – August 29, 2006
Apple iTunes offers exclusive Bob Dylan digital pre-order, advance ticket pre-sale – August 08, 2006

20 Comments

  1. “did ya know bob once sued apple for calling software dylon, seems to get a good income from apple”

    Nitpick: It’s Dylan, an acronym for Dynamic Language. Apple settle out of court and got the trademark in 1994. Apple subsequently dropped the project in 1995.

  2. Umm… Mike Q… Take a break, man. You’re losing it.

    (Yes, we all know that Jesus first uttered the phrase “pearls before swine” and yes, we do understand what it means. Do you have to make objective negative statements about an artist and everyone who likes him just because you don’t get it? Like I said, you’re losing it man. You’re out there and we’re worried about you. Okay, yes, we’re sorry we called you swine. But it was figurative. We meant it figuratively, Mike. Come here… That’s a good boy. Alright, now listen, you don’t have to like Dylan, Mike. It’s okay. We still love you. Really. Alright, yes, let’s hug. Attaboy.)

  3. “Like I said, you’re losing it man. You’re out there and we’re worried about you. Okay, yes, we’re sorry we called you swine. But it was figurative. We meant it figuratively, Mike. Come here… That’s a good boy. Alright, now listen, you don’t have to like Dylan, Mike. It’s okay. We still love you. Really. Alright, yes, let’s hug. Attaboy.”

    You guys are class. That actually sounds like a few lines from a Dylan song. Stick a few bars to it and drone it out and I think you’ll do okay in Bob’s main market.

    Now toddle off and find your inner selves dudes (whilst of course listening to ‘The Man’s twenty greatest’)

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