updated 06:28 pm EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Video features authentic pre-game prep rituals by star soccer athletes, company says
The first promotional ad for Beats' headphone division, Beats by Dre, since Apple's deal for the firm has been released -- and heavily features the iPhone 5s throughout the five-minute video. Unlike previous commercials, however, the iPhone is seen to be the only smartphone used by the athletes. The ad, titled "The Game Before the Game," focuses on World Cup stars such as Neymar da Silva Santos Junior and features what the company says are genuine pre-match rituals.
The thrust of the ad is an equal mix of soccer personalities and the latest Beats headphones, the Solo2 -- which has been praised for being less bass-heavy and more balanced in its sound reproduction than previous Beats headphones. A number of top soccer stars are seen wearing the Solo2s during their own personal warmups before a game, whether that means listening to music, practicing, communicating with family or what looks like praying or contemplative reflection.
Beats is not an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and consequently no direct mention of the game is present, but the timing of the ad along with its theme make the connection clear. The ad is somewhat more earthy and "street" in its style than a typical Apple ad, but shares a poetic use of images, editing and music put together in a harmonic way, and focuses on the people rather than the product, tying Beats to big events in people's lives.
Apple and Beats have agreed on terms, but the deal between them awaits regulatory approval. The acquisition is expected to close near the end of summer, and Apple has already made jokes (in its WWDC keynote address) about how Beats co-founders Andre Young (Dr. Dre) and Jimmy Iovine are becoming Apple employees.