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Apple subsidiary Beats Electronics has launched a new #SoloSelfie advertising and social media campaign promoting its Solo2 headphones, featuring a wide range of popular celebrities.
A new video first appeared today on the Beats by Dre YouTube account, presenting a series of athletes, musicians, actors and other famous individuals posing in video selfie clips.
Each segment starts with a closeup of the Beats logo on one side of the individual's headphones, then pans around to capture their face and the activity behind them before ending the clip on the Beats logo of their opposite ear. The ad was inspired by a "Donut Selfie" video posted to YouTube by Karen Cheng of San Francisco.
The spot features more than 20 different celebrities, including sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner (the daughters of Bruce Jenner, most famous for their appearances on the TV show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"); professional BMX rider Nigel Sylvester; rappers Funkmaster Flex, Big Sean, Jadakiss, Nicki Minaj and Fabolous; actor Norman Reedus of "The Walking Dead," tennis legend Serena Williams, Swedish DJ Alesso, New York DJ Vashtie, English hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, YouTube star Bethany Mota and New York Giant's NFL wide receiver Victor Cruz.
The clip links to a second spot featuring Saturday Night Live comedian Kenan Thompson, posing as "Pimptastic" to show how to create a "Solo Selfie." In the clip, Thompson uses a gold iPhone 6 Plus, and recommends, "if you want to crank up the pimp juice, do it in Slomo."
"Show your #SoloSelfie" the video states, suggesting social media hashtags #SoloSelfie and #BeatsByDre on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
"The Beats Solo2 is the world's best-selling headphone. They're a symbol of individuality as much as they represent a connection shared by millions of people across the globe," the videos' comments state.
Both clips are paired with a catchy new track "Something New" by Axwell ^ Ingrosso (both of whom appear in the video), with the lyrics "we belong to something new," featuring a stereo panning effect that makes the song particularly well paired to a headphones commercial.
A variety of companies have sought to co-opt the idea of a cell phone "selfie," often by asking users to pose next to their product or to otherwise promote their brands using hashtags, often with embarrassing consequences. This summer, Fast Company profiled a series of selfie blunders that it noted "wind up looking pathetic and they kill the fun for everyone."
Samsung is currently asking users to take a selfie tagged with #SamsungTVSelfies for a chance to win prizes including a television. It has also paid celebrities to pose with its products, a plan that has repeatedly backfired as a series of its celebrities went back to using their iPhone to tweet afterward, notably including Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year.
By associating fans with such a wide range of popular celebrities, while also "reinventing the selfie" in a playful, expressive video format that people are likely to want to join, Apple's Beats appears likely to be the exception to corporate selfie flops.
The new campaign follows the introduction of new Beats Solo2 Wireless Bluetooth headphones last week.