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Posts Tagged ‘Beats by Dre’

Adventures in Marketing: Headphones by Snooki

Say you’re promoting a “premium” product with minimal production costs and you want to heighten its appeal to a certain target audience. What do you do? First you label it “premium” or “exclusive”. Then you slap a barely-related celebrity’s name on it and jack up its price well beyond reason. Score!

The latest industry overcome by celebrity endorsement deals is audio equipment. Headphones appear to be the new sneakers–when the $300 Beats by Dre model debuted a couple of years ago, they were the earwear equivalent of Nike Air Jordans. The first question to ask someone wearing Beats by Dre was either “When’s your album coming out?” or “How can I get tickets to the release party?”

Once marketers realized how profitable this racket can be, everyone and his brother (and his brother’s nephew, who appeared on one episode of some reality show) jumped aboard the C-list headphone train. Are they better than iPod earbuds? Do they offer deeper bass and crisper high-end sounds for compressed, low-quality mp3s? Sure–but this is more than a little ridiculous.

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T-Shirt Maker Sells Last Name to Highest Bidder

In a new twist on the shameless self-promotion phenomenon, Florida entrepreneur Jason Sadler (who appropriately makes a living printing quirky t-shirts) recently pulled a ridiculous stunt by offering to sell his surname to the highest bidder for use as a branding tool.

He did this in order to raise capital so he could continue providing drunk college students everywhere with “Unicorns Rock!” shirts that they’ll wear twice, pack into a drawer and then tear up to use as shoeshine cloths when they grow up and get real jobs.

Well the contest just ended; the winning bid was $45,500, and the wily promoter’s new name will be…Jason Headsets.com (a change he will definitely regret in the morning). The runner-up appears to be JLabAudio, which tells us that headphone makers are desperate for media exposure. We can’t all be Beats by Dre and charge $300 for a set of freaking headphones, can we?

This new URL surname isn’t really what we had in mind; we were thinking of something classy like “Jason Cadillac” or “Jason Burger King”. We also wonder how much the move will ultimately benefit either party–though we will say that we had never heard of headsets.com or IWearYourTShirt.com before today, so we guess it’s all good?

We can’t quite endorse this strategy, but it is a wiser approach to homemade PR than, say, accepting a $15,000 offer to tattoo a political campaign logo on your face (especially when your candidate loses).

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