brand storytelling, politics and culture — July 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Beats 1 Normalizes The Global Village

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Beats1 Radio Smarter Storytelling

I didn’t expect to be excited when I first clicked the “Listen Now” button on Beats 1, Apple’s new streaming music service, which dropped earlier this week. I just wanted to check it out.

But I immediately I sensed, well, a camaraderie with the entire world. A kind of syrupy sentimental attachment to all of the other humanoids out there. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of us from all around the globe were tuning in to the same thing, at the same time.

Despite my baseline skepticism, I couldn’t help but be moved.

And I wasn’t the only one. Twitter was all aglow in similar warm vibes.

I don’t remember having such a feeling of global connection since the world tuned in together to the dawn of the new century. Or, on occasion, during global catastrophes like the tsunami that hit Thailand and other Indian Ocean nations in 2004.

Beats 1 Has Institutionalized Global Consciousness

Granted, we may have been experiencing a global culture for some time, but Apple’s new radio station made me feel part of it in a way I hadn’t felt before. Beats 1 has taken a latent or intermittent global consciousness and made it mainstream. What had been reserved for special occasions has now become the norm.

Moreover, the Beats 1 DJs are approaching the world as if it’s their hometown. Beats1 feels like a local radio station, but the locality in this case is Planet Earth.  What’s happening here is, to my mind at least,  the clearest expression yet of McLuhan’s global village. The tagline, “Worldwide. Always On” says it all.

The Beats 1 Logo Articulates The Brand Brilliantly

And the logo connotes so much about this important message, telling a rich brand story.

For one, tucking the “b” of “Beats” into a circle is, from an aesthetic point-of-view, a clever and visually pleasing graphic solution in its own right.

But semantically, the circle says a lot as well.

Placed alongside the “1,” the circle can be understood as a zero, and together they create  “01,” the ultimate digital signifier.

The circle also connotes a globe, and with the “1” next to it, we infer “one world.”

Moreover, the interior of the “b” is the arrow of a play button, signifying recorded music.

All in all, the Beats 1 logo is brilliantly efficient communication, illustrating so much about the brand in a simple and elegant graphic package.

I’ve got hand it to Apple. Sure, there have been times when I’ve lost faith in them (after the infamous Final Cut Pro debacle, for example). But overall they continue to understand where the world is going, and how we’re feeling about it.

Brilliant.

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