Oakley’s One Love campaign was created by AKQA for a global audience

Celeste, the singer of this music video, took the top prize of the 2020 Brits Rising Star Award

High performance athletes such as Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler and Oksana Masters appear throughout the spot.

Sport as a whole was one of the activities most affected by the pandemic. It wasn’t just massive professional games and events that had to be called off. Even the most personal activities of individuals had to be suspended with the closure of gyms, parks and public spaces. In full reopening, many of these customs are also coming back to life. And it is precisely this good news that inspired this campaign.

The activation is carried out by the Oakley brand, a company specialized in sunglasses created specifically for high-performance activities. This means that, like other sports-related businesses, this company is seeing an opportunity for revival amid the reopening. And with his new campaign, it is clear that he will also take advantage of this symbolic end of the pandemic to connect once again with his audiences.

For this campaign, the brand decided to create a music video for a new version of One Love, originally created for Bob Marley. This cover was done by rising British singer Celeste, and both the tone of the piece and the accompanying images make the song change its meaning. Now, it seems to speak not only of overcoming the adversity of the pandemic, but also of the personal connection that many individuals have with the sport.

Connecting emotionally with the public in a post-pandemic campaign

Just because the reopening of economies implies a return to sports, several brands related to these disciplines have been very active in advertising in recent days. A good example is the latest Bud Light campaign, which celebrates the return of the games with a touch of humor. Adidas also created an intense short showing the Olympians already preparing for 2021. And the NBA wants to create excitement for its new, quirky format.

Related Notes

We have to go back to the Oakley activation. It is a relatively effective campaign to connect with the audience. Not only does it have a good combination of visuals, audio, and storytelling. It also manages to create an incredible sentimental parallel between overcoming the adversity of the pandemic and recovering from the natural wounds and barriers that arise when playing a sport. In this sense, it would be an activation that would have to stand out above others.

Unfortunately, the campaign makes the mistake of adopting a thematic tone very similar to many of the activations that were used at the beginning of the pandemic. So, various brands (like Oakley here) spoke of overcoming adversity, of passion, and of human connection. This doesn’t make it a bad proposition, not even close. Its quality is still above average. But it could have had a better impact if it had created a thread that was more distinguished from the past.

Music video: A good way to promote a brand?

Another interesting thing about this campaign is the format it uses for its marketing strategy. True, it is not the first time that a brand uses a music video to promote itself. There is the case of Intouch B2D, where one of its directors created a project that ended up giving the firm visibility. Louis Vuitton practically did a session with Emma Stone for a supposed spot. And Instagram teamed up with Celine Dion to promote its social commerce.

With these precedents, is the use of music videos as a campaign effective? Perhaps. According to Strike Social, the role of songs in advertising has evolved to be a crucial factor in promotional efforts. According to ADD Resources, strategies such as product placement in these pieces have been around for years, with very positive results. However, in data from The Atlantic, there are projects that could generate public rejection.