Ad of the Day: iTunes

Apple revisits its digital Beatles catalog with a journey through the band's cover art

Headshot of Tim Nudd

It was huge news in November 2010 when Apple finally struck an agreement to bring the Beatles to iTunes. "It has been a long and winding road to get here. Thanks to the Beatles and EMI, we are now realizing a dream we've had since we launched iTunes 10 years ago," Steve Jobs said at the time. Apparently it realized other people's dreams as well. Within the first week, people downloaded 450,000 Beatles albums and 2 million individual songs. Sales remained strong through last Christmas and into 2011, recently topping 1.8 million albums and 10 million songs.

But there are more dollars to be drawn from that well, apparently, as Apple has just released a new Beatles-on-iTunes spot for this holiday shopping season. Last year's advertising for the catalog left some people wanting more—four spots simply showed still images of the band, backed by four of their most famous songs, while a fifth included footage of their arrival in America. (The music should have been enough, but given Apple's ad history, somehow it wasn't. Even Sir Paul solo once got a more dynamic iPod + iTunes spot.)

This year's spot from TBWA\Media Arts Lab is more inventive, featuring an animated journey over Beatles album covers—from Please, Please Me through Abbey Road—as "Magical Mystery Tour" plays. It's not mind-blowing, but it's great little set piece that celebrates the band through its own famous artwork, and gets across the scope of Beatles music available at the iTunes store.

There's also a tie-in to the iBookstore, as Apple is offering a free Beatles e-book, Yellow Submarine—an illustrated version of the band's 1968 movie that features video and audio clips and lets the iPad user tap creatures to make them come alive. See a trailer for the book at

2011 spot:

2010 spots:


Client: Apple iTunes

Spot: "The Beatles – Covers"

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

CCO: Duncan Milner

ECD: Steve Turner

CD: Drew Stalker, Ben Kay

ACD/CW: Claire Morrisey

AD: Deborah Casswell, Antoine Minczeles

CW: Aimee Lewis, Tim Holden

Agency Producers: Serena Auroux, Christopher Shaw

Animation/Editorial/Post: Wolf and Crow

Managing Director: Kevin Shapiro

Creative Director: Kevin Stein

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.