Beats and Apple are a match made in marketing heaven

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The latest ad for Beats headphones prominently displays Apple products, which probably has something to do with the fact that Apple is spending $3 billion to buy Beats.

Clocking in at just over five minutes, you won’t see the ad on TV. It’s tailored for the upcoming World Cup, and Beats is not an official sponsor. Nevertheless, the ad is compelling and filled with celebrity cameos. Could this be the direction Apple is heading with its in-house advertising?

Soccer player Neymar Jr kicks off the spot listening to a dramatic pep talk over his gold iPhone 5s. More iPhones are prominently shown throughout the rest of the ad, and there’s even a MacBook in frame at one point.

Beats and Apple are a match made in marketing heaven

Besides famous athletes, there are cameos by personalities like Nicki Minaj. AdAge notes that LeBron James, who is an official endorser of Samsung, appears in the ad as well. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine recently described how Beats spent zero dollars marketing itself in its early days. Instead, Iovine and Dr. Dre used their connections with celebrities to get Beats products in the public eye.

At Apple, Iovine and Dr will report directly to Eddy Cue, who heads the company’s internet software and services. Hopefully Beats brings some of its creative talent to Apple’s own ads, which have also been quite good recently.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Beats and Apple are a match made in marketing heaven”

    Funny how just a week or two ago the purchase of Beats by Apple was being derided as one of the worst acquisitions in the history of the world. Much like Steve Jobs was revered by all—until the biography came out—then everyone started hating him.

    A week ago, before WWDC, the popular (and usually incorrect) tech blogs and prominent financial magazines were •positive• Apple had nothing new to bring to the tech table, and that only a larger iPhone 6 was on the horizon. But WWDC proved everyone wrong, and now they’re suddenly on the band wagon for Apple again.

    We are fickle, we human beings. We are quick to judge an American soldier thousands of miles and a culture away, sure he is a deserter, based on nothing more than here-say and grainy video. We tend to believe every headline and news report, and judge people as guilty without even knowing facts, let alone a judgement by twelve jurors, good and true.

    I hope the Beats deal is a good one. And if not, then it wasn’t. One thing is sure, Apple is perhaps the savviest tech company in the world, and deserves more respect from stockholders and detractors alike. You don’t get to be this important and successful a company by accident or continuous poor decision-making.

    • GR

      i never left Apple even during slow times. When they bought beats cough me as a surprise but I have been using beats music and the interview at CodeCon made total sense to me. I recommend every one to go back and watch that interview. Truly eye opening.

      • JD

        sorry to bust your bubble but apple doesn’t care about you, just your wallet. Liking a product is fine, but treating it like its your kid is just dumb.

      • GR

        Sorry for don’t giving a crap. Every company wants people’s money to run their business. I choose to give my money to Apple, sure as hell I won’t trust google with my money. I don’t care that android had the same feature 20 years ago. I only like the way Apple implements it. Android is not even an option anymore. So your opinion won change mine, I’m sure mine won’t change yours so I don’t care either way.

      • ianthetechman

        Agreed but apple lovers are a very loyal bunch.

      • itpromike

        Fans in general are a very loyal bunch… no matter what company or products they are a fan of.

    • Mark Langston

      Damn.

    • JD

      so adding 3 year old android features to ios 8 proved everyone wrong? Talk about ignorant.

      • FootSoldier

        No, but I think Providing features like continuity, creating your own freaking programming language(SWIFT), and having an army of developers ready and waiting to create amazing apps and incorporate your API,s and features in to your OS first and in most cases exclusively (because of SWIFT) actually does prove lots of naysayers wrong though.

      • ianthetechman

        I think you’re bang on the money and could not agree with you more.

      • Jassi Sikand

        3 year old features? I’ve used Android before iOS. QuickText was on Android first – Quick Reply was not, at least not on the Android OS that 67% of users had at the time 3 years ago. Swype was on there first, Voice/Video texting was not. Continuity was never on Android (nor was it really ever expected to be).

        You and others seem to forget that the latest Android OS, even a year down the road, is used by less than 10% of Android users at any given point. So yes, Android had some features first – but that does not mean that [i]users[/i] had those features first. In fact, the only things I can think of that Android users had first were widgets (battery drainers and except for the weather widget never used them myself) and Quick Settings (which, I admit, is something that iOS should have had years ago, a fact that iOS [i]users[/i] have clamored for for a while now – same with third-party keyboards and QuickText and Quick Reply).

      • ianthetechman

        And apple will make those three year old features a million times better not to mention run like silk on there fantastically smooth operating system.

  • stefnagel

    Take another look at it, Alex. It’s preposterously and sexually objectivizing. NSFF: I wouldn’t put it on Facebook for my granddaughters to see.

    This is why Beats needs Apple. When Apple gets around to doing the WWC in Canada Beats ad next year, I expect there’s no unclad guys purring, primping, polishing their whatevers.

    Girls do play soccer, ya’know. Just one freaking shot of a girl kicking a ball. Not much to ask.

    Sweet, sad, stupid ad.

    • GR

      typical american mentality….

      • stefnagel

        Absolutely agree. No way Apple or any American org of integrity would have done this ad. It’s the product of a third rate org making stuff for export. Like bad meat. Or pesticides.

        Beats needs Apple more than Apple needs Beats.

    • Jassi Sikand

      Yes, and how many people actually WATCH women play soccer? Very, very few – it’s so bad that the Women’s Soccer teams have shut down because of lack of funding because people don’t watch them. These are ads – they’re not going to put things in them that no one wants to see. This is also an ad for World Cup – a men’s soccer tournament. In a men’s tournament, men are the players, and both men and women are fans. The woman having sex was unneeded I agree (I don’t even know what that was supposed to accomplish beyond blatant sexism, but sex sells). You also have to take into consideration the customer base – a large majority of people who but Beats’s products are men, so again – men playing soccer, women cheering and having sex and supporting what I think is Spain. Ads tailor to the customer.

      So no, Beats does not need Apple as much as Apple needs Beats. Apple bought Beats for the talent and the streaming service (and for the headphones too, but those were a nice bonus). Beats was a very successful company that would’ve done well by itself

  • JØse Luis

    As an Apple, Beats, Nike, soccer and music lover….this was just PERFECT!

    • GR

      Haha Same here!!

  • Paulakero

    stefnagel

    “Girls do play soccer, ya’know”

    1) That ad is about the Fifa Men’s World Cup, no women in it. (women have their separate tournament).
    The World Cup is the largest sporting event on the planet next to the Olympics.
    Men AND Women (of all ages ) go crazy over those players, in some countries they aren’t sports stars , they are Gods.
    you might not agree with the glory of pro Sports but that’s what the ad is about , NOT “fitness for everyone” like Apple’s “chicken Fat ad.

    2) Anything that pleases EVERYONE sucks because you are playing to the lowest denominator and loses it’s edge.
    an ad acceptable to your ‘grand daughter’ might not be good for some one else. (don’t know the age of your grand daughter ) but An ad for a kid might suck to to a twenty something.
    Dre is directing that ad to the Billion plus people (Fifa says over 3 billion watched at least some world Cup in 2010) who are fans of the World Cup. Ask why do they watch the World Cup? : they’re watching Power, Maximum Fitness and Sporting ability , Sexiness. Like it or not that;s what it’s about to it’s fans (besides being a Proxy War among Nations. LOL ) . You might not like the whole philosophy of the billion plus fans but that’s what the ad is and the people it is targeting. Will a ‘politically correct’ ad showing say a pudgy forty something painfully trudging on a golf course please those World Cup fanatics?

    3) it’s virtually IMPOSSIBLE to be completely politically correct today:
    — show a curvy young woman : you are sexist
    — show a thin woman : you are promoting anorexia
    — show a fat woman ; you re promoting obesity, “don’t you know obesity is the number one problem in the USA?”
    — show muscular fit people (like the above Beats ad) and you get people like you complaining.
    etc
    then people will complain: “why is the woman in ad White why isn’t she African or Asian etc” AND VICE VERSA if the ad showed originally a African american. if you show a White, African, Asian and Hispanic Woman…. the Indian Tribes will complain. .. ETC.

    Apple needs to Take Risks rather than ‘Play Safe’.

    • stefnagel

      Believe me, this ad plays to the lowest common denominator. Absolutely no need for this ad to insert a woman licking her lips over a magazine photo to succeed.

      The ad had a great narrative. And then it stuck on goofy toilet scrawls to screw it up. The creators lacked confidence as well as integrity. They let down both the actors and their audience by not believing they would comprehend the love at its heart.

      Risks? The scrawls of objectivised women were inserted only to avoid risk. The ad didn’t take risks; it was scared to death of its own value.

      Again. Sweet. Sad. Stupid. And scared.

      • Manish Bhatia

        The way you picked apart this ad indicates you are actively trying to find something negative in the ad. There is nothing pleasing your type.

      • stefnagel

        Dead wrong. I loved it. And then I looked at it a second time. With my brain in gear.

      • Paulakero

        “woman licking her lips over a magazine photo”

        see..

        that bothers you but it don’t bother me

        maybe I’m less anal retentive over sex and have more confidence about it?

        I don’t where you are from but much of the world like Brazil have much more relaxed attitude over sex.

        Another example presidents of France publicly walk with their mistresses etc. A fraction of that and a person will not get elected in the USA. (not saying right or wrong just pointing out there’s a wide spectrum of ‘acceptable’ )

        BUT you can have your opinion, everybody can have opinions.

        still I think 90% of the TARGET audience ( obviously not you as you complained about ‘not having women players in the ad) ) i.e fans of the upcoming MEN’s World Cup will like it.

        Also this adoration of elitist bodies which you complain about is part of human nature from dawn of history: go look at the Greek statues of Athena, Aphrodite or Apollo, Zeus or even later Michelangelo’s David, and Jesus (Pieta) etc. (Does anybody believe David really walked round Naked? BTW The David was an AD sponsored by the Vatican ) Fit, muscle, boobs, abs, nakedness .

        All that derives from primal drives of millions of years of hunter gatherer evolution (fit strong wins). Whether you like it or not that’s how it is and SOME ads like this that targets a SPECIFIC audience, fans of the WC play on it.

        BTW some people complained about the recent Apple “you are powerful” ads as it mainly showcased well off teenagers: where are the old people? Aren’t seniors powerful… ? you can’t please everybody.

      • stefnagel

        You didn’t actually read my comments, did you? Yours are hogwash, you know that, right? Then again, clearly you are less anal retentive. Do you know what the term means?

      • Paulakero

        why is it hogwash?

        did i press a button?
        I’m so freaking tired of people pushing out their narrow minded world views (and then calling people ‘hogwash’ without supporting arguments) , you seem to have so little understanding of the wide spectrum of attitudes and cultures.

        lol.

      • stefnagel

        If wishes were fishes, we would all be pescatarians.

        Looks like I pushed a button.

      • Paulakero

        “anal retentive. Do you know what the term means?”

        dictionary:

        “. A collection of very irritating personality traits that include stubbornness, orderliness, and a desire to control others and their surroundings_”

        I think i used it correctly in describing your attitudes.

        anything else?-
        —-
        BTW I have a couple of degrees in Arts and Mass Communications. I worked as an Advertising and P.R pro. I studied and did ads for a living.

      • stefnagel

        Maybe you can work at Cult of Mac.

      • Paulakero

        see sarcasm from you yet still no supporting arguments why my statements are hogwash.

        you were also sarcastic (implying ‘lack of intelligence’) that I didn’t know ‘anal retentive’ means yet I got it exactly.

        surely a person who didn’t even understand the ad was for the men’s World Cup in Brazil and targeted specifically to the fans and not ‘everybody’ should’t be so sarcastic?

        Also blogs from people who understand World Cup go like this about the ad:

        “But we think that this brand new Beats by Dre ad, called The Game Before The Game, is even better and even more star stuffed. All about the build up to a big game, for players and fans, it is five minutes long and not a second is wasted. It looks superb, the music, when it kicks in, by X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons, is class and the names they have in it are ridiculous”

        and “BEATS BY DRE JUST WON THE WORLD CUP COMMERCIAL GAME …. they do know how to put out a ridiculous, star-studded advertisement ahead of the World Cup…. This is how you get people psyched up for a soccer tournament “

      • herbaled

        Are you really that insecure that you take such offense by someone you’ll never know or see … or even know anything about? You are a trolls dream. 555

      • stefnagel

        Ha. You don’t see irony in your comment I’m betting.

      • herbaled

        I’m just noting how quickly you grab troll bait … yet again.

      • stefnagel

        Mirror mirror on the wall … who most insecure of all.

      • Nicki_fan_4_life

        I assume you are aware that “the woman” looking at the magazine ad is Nicki Minaj, a female rapper who has her own line of Beats by Dre products. So yes, it absolutely makes sense she is in the ad. Plus, she looks absolutely stunning in her cameo.

      • stefnagel

        You seem to be the first to know. So you are saying she was there to lend her talents to the moment? Ha.

      • Nicki_fan_4_life

        She is there because she is one of the sponsored artists for Beats by Dre, so it absolutely makes sense that she is in the advertisement. Nicki is in the clip for only a few seconds and she manages to pull off looking sexy while looking at a magazine.

      • stefnagel

        And you are saying that’s her talent?

        Dismissive. That’s what’s going on in the ad. Boys, young men, old men count. Females don’t matter.

        No better than fifties Westerns … that’s fifty years into the last millennium. Even John Wayne knew better than to cross Stanwyck or Hepburn or O’Hara.

        I’ve had my say plenty here. Thirty.

  • Mark Langston

    That was more than a commercial, it was an experience. The father’s voice was profound, prolific, commanding, inspiring. The close-ups, the slo-mo, the jump-cuts, the musical cues, even the celebrities didn’t look they were shilling for a corporation but rather living life offering us bottom-feeders an oh-so brief glimpse at their life.

    I absolutely despise LeBron James and yet in this ad I was almost happy to see him be a part of it. The ad didn’t need him or Lil’ Wayne but it worked and it was great.

    Color me a sucker for commercials but after watching this I’m ready to march out to Best Buy or Target or wherever and get me some Beats headgear.

    • JD

      don’t do it. Audio Technica has better quality for the same and even lower price, trust me I am a Musician/Songwriter in Music Production, beats is plain crap.

      • Mark Langston

        I respect your opinion but I’ve sampled Beats headphones and they’re pretty good. I prefer SkullCandy myself (I have a pair of earbuds that I prefer over the Apple earbuds). My point was that the commercial was extremely well done and I could see a small numbers increase after an ad like this.

        If it worked on me, and I’m a marketing major, then there’s a chance it’ll inspire other people to, at the very least, give Beats headphones a second look. Of course the price might be a bit off-putting but it’s amazing how many other companies are displaying expensive, similar-looking headphones so they can compete with Beats.

        Have to admit, for a company that was started just 6 years ago with not much more than a few celebrities wearing their gear it’s amazing what they’ve accomplished. The headphones, to start, a music subscription service, a deal with HP to have Beats technology in many of their laptops, a deal with HTC for Beats tech in phones and eventually sold to Apple for $3 billion.

        Any company would kill for that kind of success.

  • Guest

    3:02 sex.

  • aardman

    I usually get pumped up for the World Cup but so far not yet this year until I saw this ad. Now Hell Yeah! let’s watch some real football!

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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