“Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide.” This is filmmaking, product placement, celebrity endorsement and viral marketing done brilliantly!
If you wanted to promote a product, you could do far worse than to produce a short film that shamelessly features that product along with endorsements from some of the world’s biggest sporting names.
You could do worse than to use one of the planet’s biggest sporting events as a theme and then splice in a narrative about drive and aspiration.
And you could do worse than to use a soundtrack that cuts together the type of music that your product will be used to listen to. Well, that’s precisely what Dr Dre has done with the Defiant Mixtape Vol I and the results are a real triumph.
The Guy’s Got Talent
Directed by Guy Richie, the Defiant Mixtape Vol I is World Cup themed and brings together creative film production and viral marketing, then mixes them up with popular culture, sport and the dreams of a young Russian character called Andre.
Besides Andre, the main players in the film include England Captain Harry Kane, Brazil’s Naymar Jr and the French international Benjamin Mendy, each of whom are shown wearing a pair of Beats headphones.
The pace and variety of content is remarkable and these are what drive the film. Richie’s hallmarks, which include whip pans and crash zooms, can be seen throughout and are accompanied by a signature narration, à la Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, adeptly performed by Paul Anderson.
Word Up – There are Cameos
The film also contains cameos from Serena Williams, Patrice Evra and from Thierry Henry, who explains the nature of a “mixtape” and in doing so breaks the fourth wall by addressing the audience directly.
There’s also a short animated section, about Mesut Özil, that tips its hat to the early music videos produced by Snoop Dog and Co – “do you get the picture?” This is rich media at its most engaging, most effective and as a marketing tool, it drives home its message relentlessly.
The Return on Investment
Currently, the film has been viewed by over 6.5 million YouTube users. Why not be the next?
Scour any social media channel and the Defiant Mixtape Vol I is there, perform a simple Google search and it’s there. The power of this piece of work is difficult to quantify as it spans so many mediums and works on so many levels.
But let’s face it, Dre isn’t going out of business anytime soon and Beats as a product has and continues to be an amazing success story – so why put so much effort into a film like this? Branding is, of course, the answer. Aligning your product with these type of stars and with a major sporting event is invaluable and for most is something that is simply unattainable.
For Dr Dre, however, the beat goes on, it’s another day at the office and the World Cup audience is watching.