Dr Dre’s Beats beat ban on 2012 ambush marketing

I learnt about how Dr Dre's Beats headphones had beaten the ban on 2012 "ambush marketing", via another bit of cartoon genius from Tom Fishburne here. Only this morning I spotted these cool headphones on an athlete, when I was watching (again) the olympics on TV instead of working.

Not only have these Beat headphone got great exposure on TV through coverage of the athletes wearing them, this success in beating the ban on ambush marketing got plenty of PR for free.

Screen Shot 2012-08-07 at 15.42.45
Here's what I took out from this story.

1. The power of product. Again.

At the heart of Dr Dre's success is getting sports people to wear his headphones is a cool design. And way cooler than the headphones of official 2012 supplier Panasonic. As Tom says in his post, "Athletes didn’t see themselves as part of a marketing campaign. They were just using equipment they genuinely liked."

The Beats brand was building on the reputation it has built up over several years, with the brand used by celebrities such as Lady Gaga and LeBron James.

Screen Shot 2012-08-07 at 15.55.40
2. Distinctive identity

The Beats brand has been visible during 2012 thanks to the distinctive identity it has, with its large size and "b" logo in the centre of each headphone.

3. Smart sampling

Beats' sampling of athletes is a master-class. First, the headphones were personalised by country, with a different colour for each. Second, I love the way the Beats brand set up a collection point for invited athletes at trendy members club Shoreditch House. Last and most importantly, Beats were providing a genuinely useful product to people who needed it, with many athletes using music as part of their warm-up.

In conclusion, a great example of smartly harnessing and amplifying the power of your product.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and catch up on the table tennis.