Beats by Dre in collaboration with R/GA Los Angeles celebrates LeBron James’ much discussed return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a new campaign entitled “Re-Established 2014.”
The campaign is centered around a 2:15 ad crafted as a sort of love letter to James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio. The spot intersperses shots of the city, including signs in churches and movie theaters celebrating his return, with a shirtless James working out in an auditorium named after him at St. Vincent-St. Mary, the high school he attended in Akron, set to Hozier’s “Tale Me to the Church.” James wears Beats earbuds while working out, the only real nod to the brand in the spot. To add to the emotional impact, the voiceover is read by Gloria James, LeBron’s mother. “This is the city that raised you,” she says, “I’m so proud of you. Welcome home, son.”
Given James’ star status and the emotional tone of the ad, it was bound to attract attention. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the video has already received over four million YouTube views since its debut two days ago. Expect that number to balloon by the time the NBA season kicks off next Tuesday. Other, shorter supporting spots in the campaign highlight different aspects of Akron, LeBron’s upbringing and homecoming.