Marketing 50

iPod and iTunes

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Apple computer CEO Steve Jobs this year becomes the first person to be named to Advertising Age's list of leading brands three times. He's made the Marketing 100 twice, as well as this year's section, the even more selective Marketing 50.

Not bad for a guy who never had a traditional marketing career. This year, Mr. Jobs wins for turning the charged debate over the illegal downloading of music over the Internet into a marketing opportunity. His dual platform approach includes successful marketing of the iPod music player in tandem with iTunes, its online music store.

In 1999, Mr. Jobs won the honor for repackaging his Mac in a slick translucent case at a time when PC marketers were duking it out on products with little or no margins. The next year, Mr. Jobs won for his iBook, offering wireless networking capability along with a juicy array of blueberry and tangerine colors.

Once again, Mr. Jobs is at the forefront of innovation. When the record industry was beginning to battle music lovers in court over the ripping off of songs, Mr. Jobs rolled out iTunes. The online music store simplifies the music buying process by coming up with a one-size-fits-all contract at the rock bottom price of 99¢, with most albums selling for $10. And by perfect design, Mr. Jobs created iTunes to sell Apple's sexy iPod music player. Apple sold more than 336,000 iPods in the quarter ended Sept. 27, up 140% from the same period a year ago. In addition to ads backing the store and player from Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., the iPod got promoted through a cool cross-promotional deal with Volkswagen of America. VW offered a free iPod to everyone who purchased a 2003 hard-top Beetle; an iTunes music giveaway program with PepsiCo is set.

Not only that, Mr. Jobs did a turnabout and offered the product to PC users, announcing the move at a presentation in front of an overhead that said "Hell froze over." More than 1 million tracks were sold in the first week the service became available to Windows users.

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