It’s no secret that branding makes the world go round. On a daily basis, we’re exposed to up to 20,000 marketing messages, and most pass right under our nose without us even realizing it. There’s the obvious ones, like the clothes we wear or the car we drive. But how about the laundry list of celebrity hot sauces? Or Shannon Doherty pledging the merits of an online education? I know my dog only eats food that passed Rachael Ray’s rigorous quality standards.
For whatever reason, one product that has become synonymous with the celebrity endorsement in recent years are the headphones. It began rationally enough, with most endorsements being lent by producers and musicians. You know, people that might actually impact the sale of audio equipment because of their expertise on the subject. Quincy Jones’s AKG line, Mix Master Mike and Skullcandy, and the game-changing Beats by Dre.
And then things started getting weird. Beats by Dre cornered the market on headphone endorsements, and the ripple effect resulted in every rapper on the planet, from RZA to Xzbit slapping their name on the suddenly trendy noise canceling headphones. Nevermind their aggravating bulk and sonic overkill that would be lost on 99% of consumers, you were doing your ears an injustice unless you had headphones that Ludacris would recommend. I liken it to your weekend Jim Beam drinker getting his hands on an award winning scotch. You may feel like a badass, but don’t pretend you can understand the complexities of a studio mix while you listen to 2 Chainz on your walk to class.
But you know who does understand the nooks and crannies of a sophisticated sound quality? Reality TV stars. Weight conscious Power Forwards. Bible thumping backup quarterbacks. THE DECEASED. Behold a short list of recent headphone endorsements that push the behavior from sensible to absurd.
Tim Tebow & His Soul SL300TEBOW Signature Series
Nicole Polizzi & Her “Snooki Couture” Line
Glen “Big Baby” Davis & His Signature “Ayo Baby Wood” Line
Rohan Marley & The Complete “House of Marley” Audio Line