Beats has created quite a superb brand since its inception just six years ago which allows it to charge an astronomical premium on audio equipment. Of course it’s easier to build a brand if you have a front man like Andre Young aka Dr Dre – who let’s face it, is hands down the coolest man in hip hop – and shareholders like will.i.am.
But Beats’ marketing campaigns are snappy, clever and engaging and also helped create the brand. Perhaps one of the best was its Olympic ambush marketing campaign. Beats seeded headphones with high profile athletes which resulted in them indirectly endorsing the brand – either via their social media channels or wearing the products ahead of their events. The Guardian reported ‘Beats headphones have been almost ubiquitous in the Aquatics Centre with swimmers including Michael Phelps using them to block background noise before races.’ This was a beautifully brilliant tactic to gain celebrity association and mass exposure of the brand.
The latest campaign from Beats appeared in the run-up to Christmas which featured a mix of musicians such as will.i.am, Nicole Scherzinger, Lil Wayne and Ellie Goulding, along with an assortment of other figures such as Robin Van Persie and ‘ordinary’ folk who won a competition to feature in the advert. It’s a nice piece of communication (included below) which helps to show the youthful vibrancy and personality of the brand.
However, it strikes a strong similarity to Apple iPod and iTunes advertising (a large selection can be seen here). Apple too used celebrities, vibrant colours, the latest music and fast-paced dancing to showcase the products. One such spot for the iPod Nano which appeared in 2009 is embedded below. This particular advert both wonderfully builds the iPod and Apple brand but it also communicates the new video feature in a beautifully simple and engaging way.
Of course, they are both consumer musical electronic products aimed at similar demographics – young folk with a natural interest in music – so you would expect a fair amount of creative crossover. But the spots are terribly similar in their style – fast-paced, music at the heart of the story, people focused with the individuals embracing the product and a colourful connection between product and the user.
Beats has got itself a quality brand and it is no shame to take creative guidance / inspiration from old school iPod communication.