Beats by Dre has a mixed reputation among sound bogans for the audio quality of its products, but it is renowned for the quality of its advertising and the brand has managed to worm its way into popular culture by getting endorsements—paid and otherwise—from stars like Lebron James, Richard Sherman, Serena Williams, Neymar Jr, Nick Kyrgios, Kobe Bryant and Lady Gaga. Now it's moved onto rugby, with All Black captain Richie McCaw putting in the acting performance of his life to make what is one of the best rugby-related ads of the past few rugby-filled months.
There's no shortage of overly earnest rugby ads. But Beats by Dre and RGA have plenty of experience in hitting fans right in the feels, and this one, like many others before it, does that by showing the immense effort McCaw puts in to win, the cultural context of the All Blacks and the doubters (is Chris Rattue in that media scrum?) he has to continually prove wrong. The beautiful South Island scenery doesn't hurt either.
The ad shows McCaw dragging his presumably aching body out of bed (wonder if it's his Versatile house?) and starting again every day. It also singles out the English for some special metaphorical treatment, with a scene showing a car emblazoned with the Union Jack being crushed. No word on what McCawesome would be listening to up in the hills, but he seems like the kind of guy who would be into Bert Kaempfert, Tony Robbins motivational tapes, or the soothing sounds of opponents having the wind knocked out of them after a thundering hit.
According to TVNZ, McCaw is using his endorsement deal generously and said if Aaron Smith plays well, he'll give him some headphones. No doubt Jimmy Iovine and co. are happy about that plug and he'll be hoping to replicate the success it found in the NFL when it told players they were not allowed to wear Beats products because of its sponsorship deal with Bose.
The campaign also features England's Chris Robshaw and France's Welsey Fofana.
Beats chief marketing officer Omar Johnson told Fast Company that it will also be looking at cricket in the near future.
Check out some of Beats by Dre's other sporting classics.