Beats By Dre shows soccer stars standing up to online hate in defiant new ad

Players including Bukayo Saka and Serge Gnarby appear in the work from Uncommon Creative Studio

Published On
Nov 11, 2022

Editor's Pick

As the World Cup approaches, Beats by Dre is putting the spotlight on the trolling that soccer players inevitably face at times of high profile tournaments in a new campaign.

A cacophony of cheers, jeers and commentary sets the scene for the brand's latest spot titled “Defy the Noise.” The 90-second short film from London-based agency Uncommon and production company Pulse Films highlights the increasingly polarized noise that many of the world’s top soccer players face both on and off the pitch regarding their race, gender, appearance and athletic prowess.

The ad features a multinational cast of some well-known players: Bukayo Saka of England, Serge Gnarby of Germany, Kingsley Coman of France, and Ritsu Doan of Japan.

Released on Beats by Dre’s YouTube and social media channels on Wednesday, the film utilizes a mix of fast-paced shots of self-captured content and archival footage to highlight the general pressures that many in the soccer world face, while also confronting the individual criticisms that the ad’s stars face in their real-world professional careers and how they overcome it, the company said in a statement.

In the film, Saka, who is just 21 years old, is shown standing up to online hate from fans; Gnarby is seen confronting put-downs that he’s more interested in his appearance than his commitment to soccer; and Roan is shown defying commentators who have written off the Japanese national team’s competitive abilities. (Roan will play for Japan during the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which will mark the country’s seventh consecutive appearance in the top FIFA tournament.)

It also features cameos from a number of sports, music and online personalities including Italian soccer journalist Fabrizio Romano, former Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King, DJ and radio host Ashley “Dotty” Charles, and Manchester United women’s team member Alessia Russo.

The short film, which subtly promotes the Beats Fit Pro wireless earbuds throughout, is set to British rapper Slowthai’s new single “i know nothing,” which itself contains lyrics that spell out the perils of social media and online hatred.

“Social media can and should be used as a tool for connection and good but instead it serves to gloat and punch down,” Slowthai, born Tyron Frampton, said in a statement. “It fails to show the harsh reality we live in, which can lead to isolation and depression,” it continued.

The new short film breaks ahead of the 2022 World Cup which kicks off in Qatar next weekend, although it doesn't directly reference the tournament. It continues a series of campaigns from Beats that have focused on athletes. In the past couple of years, the Apple-owned electronics company has rolled out various ads featuring the likes of track star Sha’Carri Richardson, tennis great Naomi Osaka and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, just to name a few.