We've been working with US headphone giants Beats by Dr. Dre for almost a year now across 4 of our global offices - New York, London, Paris and Munich - and our European teams are celebrating the wrap of their first major campaign for the brand - The Beats Pills:

The Beats Pills characters were created by Beats in conjunction with R/GA to bring the 'Small but Loud' credentials of Beats' portable Pill speaker to life through a group of cheeky and outspoken cartoon figures ready to take on the news, relevant to the Beats audience, delivered with a sharp tone of voice.

We knew our social channels would be key to bringing this to life through reactive content, so we pulled together a strategy to react to the news agenda in each market and followed up with a robust, localised editorial playbook that would keep the campaign consistent in often wildly differing news environments. We also needed to keep front of mind why we were doing this: what use is it to create branded 'real time' content if you can't clearly demonstrate how you’re converting attention into sales?

Finally, we had to work out how to actually react and create content as quickly as needed across three different European markets. We gave ourselves an ambitious 1-hour turnaround from any event being spotted and brought to our client's attention, to having a post ready to go.

With the help of the team at Beats and the wider cross-agency collective, our Beats Pills WhatsApp group became our daily newsreader. What would booty-shaking pop twiglet Miley Cyrus do next? Could Pharrell really be that Happy for 24 hours a day? It may also be the only point in our careers that Kim Kardashian's 'cheeky' selfies end up in a client email...

Kardashian x Pills

Locked and loaded and with a fresh stream of opportunities, our on-call copywriters and designers set about turning social chatter into the voice of the Pills to great effect, even bagging a 'Tweet of the Week' in France when our Paris team noticed that two French rappers were having a little more daily 'beef' than their average compatriots...

What did we learn? Firstly, by demonstrating a commitment to topical content our fans came to look out for and engage with Beats when something did happen. Secondly, by targeting the fans who had engaged with the campaign with relevant sales messaging in paid social posts, we drove an unprecedented amount of traffic from social to Beat's online store, all helping the EMEA team to record their most successful Christmas sales period ever.

Who knows where you might spot the Beats Pills next time they pop up. Just know that when they do, they'll be small, loud and ready to cause a stir.