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Made Defiant: The Mixtape

Industry: Electronics & Audio-Visual
Media:TV & Cinema
Style: Minimalism
Why is this work relevant for Entertainment Lions for Sport?

There’s was no greater stage in 2018 than the football tournament in Russia. Rather than ignore the challenges and perceptions of the host country, Beats embraced the undeniable defiance of Russia, spinning their attitude into a narrative film that smashed everyone’s expectations of what a World Cup film should look like, sound like, and feel like.

Describe the creative idea

Mixtapes weren’t just random songs recorded onto cassettes, it was a storytelling artform. They painted pictures with sound by combining genres and formats to drive home a message. As a music brand, we wanted to experiment with a film that tells a story the way a mixtape does. We challenged director Guy Ritchie to bring our idea to life. The result is a masterfully woven tapestry of stories, threading together the likes of Harry Kane, Mesut Ozil, Benjamin Mendy, Patrice Evra, Serena Williams, Thierry Henry, and Neymar Jr, book-ended by the aspirational story of a defiant young Russian footballer, on the verge of becoming the world’s next big thing. Sonically, the film is scored using tracks from a feast of artists - Anderson Paak to Enya - with complementing footage mixing 35mm film, digital, mobile, animation and Super 8 into something delightfully unexpected - just like your favorite mixtapes.

Describe the strategy

To tell the story of defiance, the obstacles and paradigm must be established. In the 2018 football tournament, most fans picked a side or supported a popular narrative: England would brawl. That Germany or Brazil would win. That Russia was a less than worthy host. All were based on predictions of the past. And if there’s one thing that’s true about the power of defiance, it’s that it has the ability to change the odds. During this year’s tournament, we wanted people to forget what they already know. Because with defiance, anything becomes possible. Summer 2018 also marked the 10 year anniversary of Beats. This was the perfect moment to celebrate our past and look forward to our future. We used the milestone and the World Cup to show how our brand, our products and our athletes are made differently. They are MADE DEFIANT.

Describe the execution

Following the award-winning HBO documentary 'The Defiant Ones', Beats in-house creative team developed a 2018 global football tournament script depicting the meaning of being Made Defiant. For production, Beats collaborated with one of the most defiant directors of his generation, Guy Ritchie, shooting across four countries in two weeks. Campaign launched two weeks before the tournament began, running until France danced through the final game in July. The film was truly targeted storytelling, resulting in 26M views in four weeks, with strong, sustained campaign performance. Beats had 55 ATL placements, generating 338M impressions. A record number of custom headphones were designed for 16 of the biggest teams, becoming the "unofficial" headphones of top players, and were featured in press and TV globally with earned reach of 155M, social reach of 460M. A truly global production effort was made to ensure content was optimized for platforms and localized for key markets.

Describe the outcome

Our 2018 football tournament campaign surpassed all internal performance metrics goals. Our film was viewed over 66 million times and the campaign achieved social reach of 460 million. Our story leaned into earned media, maximizing it's reach. Whoever hadn't seen it wanted to search for it. Everyone who saw it wanted to share. Earned media reach exceeded 115 million. However, the biggest impact of the campaign went beyond the numbers. The story had a real impact on football culture. Fans across the world saw the triumph of young Andrei and his football heroes, their narratives united by a spirit of defiance. Football tournament stories have been done by many brands in endless ways, but Beats and Ritchie created an unconventional, unexpected story that became a real conversation around the brand and the athletes. A memorable tribute to the role that music plays in the game that we all love.
Production Company:
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Entertainment Lions for Sport
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Film
Consumer Durables
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Film Craft
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