It's fun—though perhaps not for the brands—when a big celebrity appears in two major ad campaigns in the same week. It's now happened this week with Serena Williams, who appeared the excellent Gatorade ad we wrote about on Wednesday—and who now fronts the long-form Beats By Dre spot below.
So, whose spot is the real ace? Check out both ads here:
Beats By Dre, which has found a sweet spot with athletes despite being a music-based brand, has frequently prevailed when going head to head against sports companies in recent years. But this showdown goes to Gatorade, whose minute-long "Unmatched" spot uses its archival footage to such great effect—leading to a wonderful ending that really shows what Serena has always been made of.
The Beats ad, while it looks fantastic, doesn't pack the same punch. The Apple Watch alarm going off at the beginning sets the tone for what feels, off-puttingly, more like a product pitch than a tribute to greatness. Also, the music video format, which has worked well for Beats in the past when showing celebrity athletes using headphones to block out their critics, works less well here. The ad tries to ratchet up the tension with audio of tennis commentators questioning Serena's ability—but that just doesn't ring true for an athlete who's chasing a rare single-year Grand Slam sweep.
Gatorade's spot extends that brand's recent advertising winning streak, dating to its famous Derek Jeter spot. On the other side of the net, it's a different story. Unlike Serena, it's Beats that's suddenly showing signs of weakness.
Client: Beats By Dre
CMO/Executive Creative Director: Omar Johnson
Creative Director: Jayanta Jenkins
Brand Producer: Kathy Angstadt
Marketing Director: Kevin O'Connor
Art Director: Jayanta Jenkins
Production Company: Reset Content
Director: Andre Stringer
Line Producer: Deannie O'Neil
Editorial: Lost Planet
Editor: Max Koepke
Colorist: Mark Gethin/MPC
Sound Mix: Jeff Malin/Lime Studios