Football — or soccer, if you live in the US — has the potential to captivate a nation, perhaps no more than at the World Cup every four years. In just a matter of days, the world’s biggest stars of the sport will be fighting for the ultimate title in front of tens of thousands of fans in Brazil. The culture behind the event is incredible, fueled by the fact that football has some 250 million players across over 200 countries worldwide.
For one month, even the hockey-crazed nation of Canada that I call home will put aside its love for the rink and turn its eyes to the field. Living in a country that is very culturally diverse, it takes just a quick drive around the neighborhood to see Italy and Brazil flags attached to car windows and other World Cup paraphernalia scattered across front lawns and houses.
Beats wants everyone to know that it is part of this culture, releasing a new cinematic ad called The Game Before The Game. The five-minute spot captures the intensity leading up to the World Cup, including the pressure and fandom surrounding the players. The ad features over a half-dozen football stars, ranging from German players Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze to Neymar da Silva and Chicharito…
The ad follows Neymar da Silva as he prepares to be under the spotlight of the World Cup, and the iPhone 5s is shown on multiple occasions throughout the video. “Before the goals, before the glory, there is an unseen game played in the locker room,” the official description reads. “Watch how the best prepare for greatness with Beats SOLO2 and Studio. This is how the game is won.”
The ad is backed by the song “Jungle” by the X Ambassadors and Jamie N Commons. It is a fitting soundtrack for a commercial that is as cool as it can possibly get, with special appearances from celebrities Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, professional athletes LeBron James and Serena Williams and several others. This goes beyond Beats simply advertising its new Solo 2 headphones. This is Beats establishing an image. This is Beats selling its brand.
More importantly, this is why Apple bought Beats.
Apple’s executive team might indicate otherwise, but at least part of what it spent $3 billion on was the cool and fresh culture that bleeds out of Beats. According to Ad Age, basketball star LeBron James actually reached out to Beats to ensure that he could have a cameo appearance in this ad. That says an awful lot, considering the amount of ads and marketing that James has done with Apple’s rival Samsung.
King James is now part of Apple. That is a big deal.
Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion just over a week ago, with co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre joining the company. The entire Beats team will report directly to iTunes chief Eddy Cue, while the design of Beats headphones falls under Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. Apple also gained the streaming music service Beats Music as part of the acquisition, which it will continue running.