QA with Beats by Dre - Creating an award-winning social media campaign

Published on Mar 28th, 2016

Beats by Dre is one of the most-engaged consumer electronics brands on social media. The headphone maker founded by rap icon Dr. Dre captured 11% of the category’s share of voice by engagement last year. 

Part of that success was driven by the Straight Outta Somewhere campaign, which was conceived to help promote the film “Straight Outta Compton.” The fall 2015 blockbuster chronicled the early years of hip hop group N.W.A., of which Dre. Dre was a member. 


Digital agency PMG , which created the campaign, was awarded the Shorty Award for Best Meme for Straight Outta Somewhere when the eighth-annual social media awards were announced last week. PMG was also awarded a bronze honor in the best consumer brand category. 

Earl Hwang , PMG’s Social Media Supervisor, joined us to break down the campaign. 

Shareablee: Describe the inspiration for Straight Outta Somewhere campaign and why it was ideal for Instagram? 

Earl Hwang: Our goal was to create a culture where people all over the world could align with their roots and show the world pride for where they call home. In the beginning, we looked at trying several different ways to get user-generated content and thought that giving users a framework to post a branded image of themselves would be the best option. Naturally with the image-centric nature of Instagram, we knew this idea would take off there. 

Shareablee: Beats by Dre posted 77 times and generated 1.1 million social actions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the monthlong campaign. Instagram content accounted for just 27% of the posts, but generated 61% of the engagement. The average Instagram post also captured 135% more actions than the average Facebook post. And this occurred in spite of Beats having a much smaller Instagram audience, 2.6 million followers compared with 8.3 million fans on Facebook. Why is Beats Instagram content so much more engaging than the content produced for Facebook and Twitter? 

EH: Facebook and Twitter offer a much more diverse array of placements and creative options. The scale that Facebook and Twitter provided were primary drivers for awareness as we knew that we could efficiently scale content the fastest there. But from an actual participation standpoint, we had to look at the smaller niche platforms as we knew that average engagement from organic content was much higher. 

Combining a smart paid strategy with solid organic content creation/distribution allowed us to push the envelope early on with this campaign. That being said, the ease of meme creation and posting was also most easily done through Instagram by celebrities and other users alike, so the higher engagement totals worked to verify our assumptions. 

Shareablee: Straight Outta Somewhere was downloaded or shared at least 8.7 million times, including by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and even the White House . Did you expect that it would resonate not only with Beats audience, but what seems like the rest of the social web? 

EH: TBH, no Our core brand focus always was with Beats talent and its culture, so when we saw brands like Whataburger take notice, it was really surprising. 

Shareablee: What lesson did you take from this campaign that you can apply to others? 

EH: Two lessons here: 

1.) Lightning doesnt strike twice. Its important to create new moments and ideas regularly as the best brands are always challenging others in that aspect. Beats is always looking to create moments that tip into popular culture, so seeing just how far this went helped to broaden our vision and shoot for higher standards in subsequent campaigns.  

2.) When your campaign hits that moment, just ride the wave. Stick to your initial plan and dont let your brand vision get in the way of how far user-generated content can go, because the success of your campaign hinges on the unrestricted sharing of your branded content. 

Shareablee: Did you use any insights from the Shareablee platform when creating the campaign or making adjustments after it began? 

EH: Before we started using Shareablee, there werent too many options from an analytics/insights perspective when it came to Instagram. We depended a lot on what Shareablee could provide for us as we needed to keep a pulse on engagements and trends that were associated with the campaign. 

Category performance was also very important for us during the campaign. Within the consumer electronics category, Beats already has a large share of voice. Creating custom categories allowed for us to compare how Straight Outta Somewhere was lining up against some of largest consumer brands. Using their performance as a benchmark, we worked to capitalize on areas/platforms where we saw the most opportunity.

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