U2 Vertigo in iPod Commercial

U2’s song, Vertigo, was launched in a television commercial for the iPod U2 Special Edition at the time of Apple’s October 2004 press conference. Continuing in the line of earlier silhouetted dancers, U2 belt out their song in what almost could be called a music video. The ad features members of the band in near silhouette performing their song with dancers in full silhouette. Bono carries the white iPod. The microphone and guitars are connected to their amps with white leads. The lyrics open in Spanish.

U2 in iPod TV Ad playing Vertigo

At the press conference in San Jose Steve Jobs downplayed the possibility of launching a video iPod. They would be too big. Not enough people had video content on their PCs. And of course there would be copyright problems. The iPod was the ‘wrong place’ for video. Stalling tactics obviously. Jobs instead announced the iPod Photo, with color screen, that can connect with a television. The U2 Special edition was the same as previous 4th generation iPods except for the color: a black front, a red scrollwheel and a black button in the middle. On the back there were autographs by each member of the band. In addition Apple announced its first digital box set, the Complete U2, containing over 400 mp3 tracks by U2.

At the press release U2 and The Edge performed the world premiere of the song, “An Original of the Species”, the song that would feature in the TV commercial for the video iPod. This was the latest in what appeared to be an ongoing arrangement between Apple, U2 and Universal Music Group. Vertigo, the first single from the album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Vertigo, had recently been released to the world as an mp3 exclusively on iStores in September. The album came out in November.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The U2 Vertigo iPod ad was created by advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day whose creative team included Lee Clow, Duncan Milner, Susan Alinsangan with producers Cheryl Childers and Serena Auroux.

Director Mark Romanek from Anonymous Content worked with director of photography Alwin Kuchler. The Nomad Editing Company team included editor Glenn Martin and music editor Francois Blaignan. Special effects were developed by Alex Brodie with Company 3. Visual effects were developed by Alexi Tylevich and Ben Conrad at Logan. Stylist was Mrs Jones. Production designer was Darrell Cooke. Executive producer was Lisa Margulis.

Lyrics of Vertigo

U2 - How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - VertigoUnos, dos, tres, catorce! [1,2,3,14]
(Bono often throws in random numbers in his countdowns)

Turn it up loud, captain!

Lights go down
It’s dark
The jungle is your head
Can’t rule your heart
The feeling is so much stronger
Than a thought
Your eyes are wide
And though your soul
it can’t be bought
your mind can wander

Hello, Hello Hola!
I’m at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)
It’s everything I wish I didn’t know
Except you give me something I can feel

The night is full of holes
Those bullets rip the sky
Of ink with gold
They twinkle as the boys play rock and roll
They know that they can’t dance
At least they know

I can’t stand the beats
I’m askin’ for the cheque
The girl with crimson nails
Has Jesus ’round her neck
Swinging to the music
Swinging to the music
Oh oh oh oh

Hello, Hello Hola!
I’m at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)
It’s everything
I wish I didn’t know
But you give me something I can feel

All of this, all of this can be yours
All of this, all of this can be yours
All of this, all of this can be yours
Just give me what I want
And no-one gets hurt

Hello, Hello Hola!
I’m at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)
Lights go down and all I know
Is that you give me something
I can feel your love teaching me how
Your love is teaching me how, how to kneel

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!