Beats’ Serena Williams ‘Rise’ > Long-Form Storytelling + Subtle Cross Promotion

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Beats By Dre is leveraging interest in the US Open and in Serena Williams’ attempt to equal the all-time Grand Slam titles record with a multi-product promotion, long-form film called ‘Rise’.


Themed around an ‘adversity’ and ‘comebacks’ strand of Serena’s career story, this campaign is about training hard, dedication, determination and commitment in the face of obstacles and criticisms.


The campaign is also a subtle piece of creative cross promotion with product placement linking the Apple-owned headset brand with other Apple products and services.


The online video opens with Williams waking up to an alarm on her Apple iWatch OS2 and turning on her television (not an Apple TV) to find a sports commentator critiquing her performance.


The creative’s narrative then sees her suits up for a morning run and stick in her Powerbeats 2 Wireless headphone to listen to ‘Beats One Radio’.


All to a soundtrack – ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day – which can be purchased on Apple Music.



This inspiring spot adopts the increasingly familiar Beats approach of blending music video style creative, with archive action footage and ad-created film.


The team was led by CMO Omar Johnson and creative director Jayanta Jenkins, along with brand producer Kathy Angstadt, marketing director Kevin O’Connor and art director Jayanta Jenkins.


The production company was Reset Content and the ad was directed by Andre Stringer, with editing by Lost Planet, sound from Jeff Malin/Lime Studios.


The work also sees hefty and repeated own channel social amplification








In terms of data-led results, the spot generated an impressive 8,339,201 in less than a week.


Interestingly, this campaign follows hot on the heels of Gatorade’s ’21 Serena’ US Open campaign which also celebrates Williams’ career as she aims to win a record equalling 22 Grand Slam titles (see case study).


The release timing, event leveraging and shared endorser (not to mention the ‘overcoming adversity’ theme) ensure an almost inevitably comparison to be drawn between the two campaigns.


And, for several reasons, Activative’s analysts feel the sports drink work is, perhaps surprisingly considering Beats’ recent creative records, more emotionally and inspirational than the headphones brand work.


While ‘Rise’ is admittedly slick and strikingly well shot, it is arguably overly-long and feels a touch forced in its claim to be ‘a window into Serena’s soul’ that is supposedly so personal that no one in the world knew about until this commercial.




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Andra Day Rise Up On Apple Music:…

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