After two straight seasons of the Ohio State University Marching Band wowing audiences and capturing international attention at levels never before seen thanks to their spectacular and creative shows, Buckeye fans shouldn’t be surprised to see the band receive more attention. Still, OSU fans watching sports this afternoon had to be pleasantly surprised and excited to see TBDBITL featured pretty prominently in the new iPad Air commercial from Apple. As most of you probably remember from the numerous news reports during the season, two members of the OSUMB, Charlie King and Ryan Barta, came up with an idea to save the band the costs of photocopying music and drill by having all the band members use iPads. As it turned out, this idea had benefits far beyond the cost savings as the ability to look at animated versions of the drill charts, watch practice video, record video of individuals marching, and other things greatly improved the band’s ability to learn drill and to refine their performances. This was the first season that the iPads were used and contrary to some media reports, only the squad leaders had them this season; the goal for next season is for every band member to have an iPad to use during the season which should lead to even more improvement in the band’s performances.
It doesn’t matter if you are an Apple fanboy or not, it is still cool to see TBDBITL featured in a commercial that has nothing to do with football either in terms of content or what the company involved is known for. Instead, Apple is recognizing the creativity and innovation of the OSUMB and using that to show some of the exciting ways people are figuring out how to use technology; mixing images of the band in with people using iPads while scuba diving and other things only adds to the sense of coolness at what the band did. I also love the fact that Apple didn’t put the OSUMB’s name on there anywhere, implying that they realize the band and its shows, such as the T-Rex formation from the Hollywood Blockbusters show, is now famous enough that no explanation is needed. I haven’t heard any details yet about what form of compensation TBDBITL received from Apple for this but it is pretty cool that a major company like Apple views the band as something it wants to be associated with and that will help it sell its products; when was the last time you heard of a company who tries to have an image of being ‘cool and hip’ go “hey, let’s associate ourselves with band nerds.”