We didn’t need to see tennis champ Serena Williams working out to know that she does. But marvel folks — MARVEL! — at the arms, the six pack, the high knees… Incredible.
No this isn’t a Nike ad. It’s an ad for Beats by Dr. Dre’s new wireless headphones. At this point, we know that Beats are the choice headphones for athletes around the world. FIFA literally had to tell them to steer clear of the World Cup. But it’s interesting that an audio company would choose to build these relationships with athletes rather than, say, putting lots of music stars in its marketing.
It’s particularly interesting when you consider that an actual athletic wear company chose to sign a model to its spokesperson lineup rather than adding to its roster of athletes.
As AgencySpy notes, the need to be “in the zone” that is part of an athlete’s life lends itself to the marketing of headphones. When we work out like Serena (because, yeah, of course we all do), that’s how we hope we look on the outside, while on the inside, our favorite tunes are playing. Even as we watch her throw those heavy balls, there’s something soothing about the scene.
Compare this to the Under Armour clip we just wrote about, starring Gisele Bundchen. That brand caught a lot of heat for going with a glamorous supermodel rather than an athlete. And then they took all of the criticism and praise and included it on a sub-page. Many critics wanted there to be an athlete — perhaps one like Serena Williams — to be in the ad rather than Bundchen. In her case as well, the workout is pretty ferocious. Bundchen might not have the muscles, but clearly she’s fit. And in this case, the product she’s selling, the Under Armour outfit, is also integral to “getting in the zone.”
These two brands are using virtually the same exact setting to convey a similar message about two completely different products using women who are also very different. These are products that you take with you during a moment of solitude, when you’re punching, kicking, jumping and throwing to get your sweat on. Personally, I think they’re both equally effective spokespeople because they convey something that we all want to think: that we look strong and fierce and hot when we’re grunting and wheezing through an hour at the gym. And please note: that goes for both men and women.