Beats by Dre discovered that runners typically ranked the importance of running performance over a sense of community during a race. To champion its brand values of community and identity over performance, it created the Beats1Run, a 5K "running party" that leveraged influencers and music to create a sense of community.
Objective and Context:
Beats by Dr. Dre wanted to challenge "UnRuns," its active audience of non-regular runners, to focus on "teammanship" rather than running performance. It partnered with Apple Music to create a 5K running party with music at its center. Runners received a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre's PowerBeats2 Wireless earphones and all listened to the same music, which was curated by Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio, during the race. To establish the Beats1Run as part of the running calendar during its first year, the brand carefully selected and recruited non-traditional running influencers from each of the cities where the run would be held: L.A., New York, London, and Paris. Leveraging influencers allowed the brand to get its earphones into the hands of some of the most visible runners in the category.
Since the launch was scheduled to take place at the same time as Beats' global campaign for the Rugby World Cup, resources for the Beats1Run were limited. It would have to employ a more intimate campaign for the 5K, and mobile would be a critical part of that.
Beats by Dr. Dre's target audience for the campaign were "UnRuns," its active audience of non-regular runners.
The Beats1Run was the first-ever global running party that connected people via music. The event took place in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Paris simultaneously, and only 500 runners could join per city. Every runner ran at the same time to the same sound, enabled by Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio and Beats by Dr. Dre's earphones.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The brand leveraged access to elite musical talent via its broadcaster. More importantly, it had access to millions of smartphones globally. Hosted live on Beats 1 Radio, it broadcast the run to more than 100 countries. Additionally, it enlisted non-traditional running crews who valued community over performance. The running party was essentially a sampling campaign that got the product into the hands of category influencers and increased awareness among running communities, university clubs, and individuals.
All four cities' runners received a complementary pair of PowerBeats2 Wireless earphones and a Tech T-shirt at event check-in. At 11:00 a.m. in L.A, 2:00 p.m. in New York, 6:00 p.m. in London, and 7:00 p.m. in Paris, runners kicked off the inaugural Beats 1 Run while DJ Ebro Darden spoke to them on Beats 1 Radio. DJ Samantha Ronson co-hosted, spinning a 45-minute mix to fuel the event.
Mobile was at the center of the campaign, but to increase reach, Beats by Dr. Dre invited celebrities to run alongside the general public. BMX bikers, fire breathers, and Hoverboard dancers joined the race. When the final runners crossed the finish line, everyone involved in each race celebrated together in the Champagne garden, and photographers emailed high-quality shots of finishers directly to their phones, hundreds of which were immediately shared on social channels.
The campaign was well-received by consumers.