Over the last couple of weeks, a new Apple iPod Touch commercial has been running on television. Although it seems somewhat similar to previous ads from Apple, its origin is quite different and is an example of how user-generated

content has never been so relevant.

Introducing the new iPod Touch commercial, by Nick Haley

Nick Haley is an 18 year old first-year English student and an Apple fan ever since he received his very first computer at the age of 3. Last September, he created his homemade TV ad in a day from visual content that can be watched on the Apple Web site.

His song selection was“Music is my Hot Hot Sex” by Brazilian band CSS. "The lyric of the song 'My music is where I’d like you to touch' gave me the inspiration to make this commercial," Nick Haley said. The beat of the video is right in line with the fast-paced tour of the abilities of the recently released Apple device. “Not only do the lyrics sound like they were written by an iPod fetishist, the song has the perfect YouTube trifecta: pounding beat + accented female singer + constant references to sex” explains Dylan Tweney from Wired.

On September 11th 2007, Nick simply uploaded the self-made commercial on his YouTube personal page, which is where a few advertising executives from the Cupertino-based company discovered it. The young man was sitting on the bus when he received this e-mail from Apple on his cell phone: “We represent Apple and we’ve seen what you have produced and we’d like a chat with you.” He recalls: “This seemed ridiculous and far-fetched. My initial reaction was, someone wanted to steal it.”

That's right. Instead of sending him a cease-and-desist letter (watch the video), they decided to buy his ad and fly him over to Los Angeles to work on a similar but broadcast-ready version. “My input was totally respected.” Mr. Haley said.

Consumers creating commercials “is part of this brave new world we live in” tells Lee Clow, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer at TBWA Worldwide, a division of the Omnicom Group. “That’s the whole point of advertising; it needs to get to the user” Mr. Haley explains. “If you get the user to make the ads, who better?”

Nick Haley's original version:

Apple's repolished version:

As of today, Nick is a fresher in politics at Leeds University.
Nick Haley’s spot has been viewed 745,255 times on YouTube Web site, and the Apple’s clip has been viewed 14,850 times. The commercial based on Mr. Haley’s video has been broadcasted on “Desperate Housewives”, football games, and Game 4 of the World Series. It can also be seen in Europe and Japan.

By Mathieu Ramage