Beats By Dre has turned its attention to the world of Rugby with a stirring collection of films to promote its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup.
The films, called ‘The Game Starts Here’, aim to drum up hype for the Rugby tournament, which kicked off last weekend in the UK.
Featuring New Zealand's Riche McCaw, England's Chris Robshaw and France’s Wesley Fofana, the films showcase the training rituals and the pressures each of the team’s captains endure before going into battle.
The brand is on a mission to ensure it is the only headphones that athletes use.
Beats ads have always followed a formula. Athletes put on headphones to block out the media scrutiny and distraction as they manage their pre-game rituals and training regimes while listening to an upbeat, energetic tune.
However in tackling Rugby Union, Beats have opted for a more restrained set of films, less thumping tunes and more chest-thumping patriotism. England’s film is set to a gospel version of ‘Jerusalem’, New Zealand’s features the stirring passion of the haka, while France’s film features an uplifting orchestral score.
However, the gruelling training regimes, intense media and public scrutiny and pressures are very much alive in all these films.
“The game begins far away from the glare of stadium lights. It starts in the nation that shapes you. On the fields where you hone your skill. In the gyms where you strengthen your body. And in the locker room where you ready your mind for battle. In this game, the ones who handle the expectation and pressure of their nation will be the ones who triumph. The game starts here.”
Rugby Union is the latest sport to receive the Beats By Dre coverage. Having successfully covered Football / Soccer with the explosive Game Before The Game for the FIFA World Cup, Basketball, American Football, Tennis - with standout films featuring Le Bron James and Serena Williams. You name a sport and Beats By Dre is there.
The brand is on a mission to ensure it is the only headphones that athletes use, and according to reports the brand plans to turn its hand to cricket next… it’s a baffling idea but no doubt the formula will prove successful once again.
The strategy is as strong as the athletes it relies on to keep the brand relevant, top of mind and highly aspirational. Throw in some banging tunes and you’ve got a sure-fire formula to deliver hit after hit after hit.
Given Beats’ Chief Marketing Officer Omar Johnson is ex-Nike is no surprise, Beats’ strategy shows signs of the same passionate and emotive storytelling that continues to ensure Nike is top of mind.
However where Beats’ goes further than Nike is in the product itself. As a product that enables the owner to retreat into their own world, Beats’ is able to mine a powerful emotional place that is individual to each person.
There’s nothing like the feeling of shutting out the world with music and getting inside your own head. This is where the Beats’ films draw all their power from.
In this case, these latest films don’t hit the standard formula quite the same. These films speak more to patriotism and the ideas of pride and hard work and I’m mixed about how successful they are.
Clearly the McCaw film is strong, the haka is stirring and emotive and for a rugby-mad nation, who view the rugby captain as god-like, this film ticks all the boxes.
Robshaw’s film is also stirring, Jerusalem is a great song choice and the soulful cover is a superb choice. However the French film’s lack of strong music is probably where it falls down, it needed to pack a punch and it seemed to fall short – given it was made by R/GA London you could question the motives there!
It’s a shame they didn’t make more films though featuring more players and showing up some of the great rivalries, although this is embedded into the films with the British bulldog mauling a toy kangaroo and facing off against a le coq gaulois.
Overall though Beats By Dre have created a solid set of films and added to their huge collection of inspiring athletes. These are great films, well made and very strong.