Beats by Dre and Guy Ritchie Created a Visual ‘Mixtape’ of World Cup Origin Stories

'Made Defiant' shows how tomorrow's star may be inspired

Germany's Mesut Özil is one of several soccer stars with origin stories featured in the Beats by Dre spot. Beats by Dre
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

There are colorful characters with interlocking stories, unlikely winners and incredible comebacks in this swaggering, razor sharp, fourth-wall-breaking, stylized 4-minute mini-movie.

It looks like a Guy Ritchie flick, without all the violence and viscera.

In fact, it is a Guy Ritchie creation, but also a commercial for Beats by Dre, which turns out to be a marriage made in punter heaven as the director of hits like Snatch and RocknRolla (try to forget Swept Away) puts his signature spin on the brand’s recently launched “Made Defiant” campaign.

Added bonus: The pitch-perfect narrator is Paul Anderson of Peaky Blinders fame.

The globetrotting short film, broken into segments to mirror the tracks of a mixtape, brings together some of the greatest soccer players in the game as a precursor to the World Cup. Its long-form running time and cinematic feel have become hallmarks for the brand’s global sports marketing. (See “The Game Before the Game” and “Above the Noise”).

With its quick cuts and snappy dialogue, the latest spot features a young Russian kid (and future superstar) trying to rise above his hardscrabble existence. Four key footballers can relate, giving an abbreviated look into the obstacles they faced in their lives and careers. (Ritchie gets the points across in remarkably short order).

The cast is heavy-duty sports royalty, including England’s Harry Kane, Germany’s Mesut Ozil, France’s Benjamin Mendy and Brazil’s Neymar Jr. (all wearing Beats Decade Collection headphones), with cameos from brand endorsers like Serena Williams, Thierry Henry and Patrice Evra. Eden Hazard (Belgium), Fyodor Smolov (Russia), Raul Jimenez (Mexico) and other players popping by to fill out the talent roster, and Anderson .Paak’s latest single, “Bubblin” propels the action.


Lead Cast
Harry Kane – England
Mesut Özil – Germany
Neymar Jr. – Brazil
Benjamin Mendy – France

Supporting Cast
Eden Hazard – Belgium
David De Gea – Spain
Fyodor Smolov – Russia
Raúl Jiménez – Mexico

Cameo Appearances
Patrice Evra
Thierry Henry
Gabriel Jesus
Serena Williams

Title: The Defiant Mixtape, Volume 1
Client: Beats By Dr. Dre
Production Co: Independent Films, Reset
Director: Guy Ritchie
Producer: Annabel Ridley
Editor: Jamie Foord, Rock Paper Scissors
Color: Dave Hussey, Company 3
VFX/Finishing: Andy McKenna, Hugh Seville, a52
Music: “Bubblin” – Anderson .Paak, “Boadicea” – Enya
Add’l Music: Ring The Alarm, Jonah Christian, King Mez

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.
Publish date: June 8, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT