Beats by Dr Dre makes UK focus of European marketing

Beats Electronics is making the UK the centre of its European marketing operations as it "exponentially" increases its staff.

Beats by Dr Dre: Times Square activity
Beats by Dr Dre: Times Square activity

Luke Wood, president and chief operating officer, Beats Electronics, said: "In my business the sound of British recording studios was really like the voice of God – we would go to Abbey Road to get 'that' string sound. Culturally it was a place that was so important to us and really the first place on the planet that got excited about what Beats Electronics was doing.

"We have a plan to continue to resource our marketing team in the UK. We are a start-up – a year ago we had about 45 people and now we have close to 270 people so exponentially I think we will staff up. This is going to be our marketing hub for Europe."

The brand is preparing a major Christmas television campaign created by R/GA to push its Beats Solo headphones, alongside additional seasonal marketing for its Beats Mixr headphones, Pill Bluetooth speak and Beats By Dr Dre Executive headphones.

Today it is running a competition in Covent Garden that will give people the chance to star in the Christmas TV advert. The company is encouraging people to get their photo taken in a Beats by Dre Show Your Colours photo booth and share the image on social media with the #showyourcolour hashtag.

The worldwide competition will see 10 winners picked out by Dre and Jimmy Iovine, who will be flown to the States to star in the ad.

Wood told Marketing a celebrity will also star in the ad because "we want to make it really fun for the winners".

Alongside its experience in headphones and speakers, Beats Electronics is also focusing on the way consumers discover music through its purchase of Spotify competitor Mog, which is available in Australia and North America.

Wood said further rollout plans for Mog are being kept under wraps as it discusses internally what the vision for the service is.

He explained: "There is a pile of corpses on the [music services] field and we don’t intend to be one of them so when we come out we want to come out with something perfect."

Beats by Dr Dre is riding on the back of high awareness after its exposure at London 2012, when many athletes wore its products, despite it not being a sponsor unlike rival headphone maker Panasonic.

Wood is keen to distance Beats Electronics from suggestions it carried out a deliberate policy of ambush marketing and instead said "there is not a day in our life where we don't give an athlete headphones".

He concluded: "We have always reached out to athletes with our products – we didn’t endorse those athletes, we didn’t pay those athletes, we didn’t promote or market around them."