Under Johnson’s tenure, Beats grew from $180 million to a $1.1 billion dollar global icon and category leader, becoming the #1 premium headphone in North America, UK, France, Germany, South Korea and Singapore.
Johnson drove explosive growth in the headphone category through groundbreaking campaigns including #ShowYourColor Solo Campaign, Powerbeats starring LeBron James and The Pills featuring Chris Rock and Eminem. He used “ambush marketing” and influencers to expand the brand—giving athletes and musicians free headphones at private company parties—which helped turn Beats into the headphone of choice for the best musicians and athletes in the world.
Previously, Johnson led innovative marketing programs for international brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and Campbell Soup. As an advertising lead at Nike, Johnson produced some of Nike’s most memorable TV commercials including “Rise,” starring LeBron James, “All Together Now,” featuring Kobe Bryant, and “The Most Valuable Puppets”.
Johnson also built the Nike+ sports music platform, establishing Nike’s first revenue-generating relationship with record labels. Johnson and his team created an industry-first sports music program with Universal, Interscope, Sony, Capitol, Def Jam and more than 25 independent labels. This collaboration sold +5 Million tracks and deepened the connection between music and sports.
Johnson is from Brooklyn, NY. He received a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Georgia State University and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
- The New Rules of Marketing: From Influencers to Ambush Marketing
- The Best Idea Wins: How to work with the crowd, ignore the data, and use the art of listening to develop your best ideas
- The Beats Story: Building an International Brand
When Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine created Beats in 2006, their goal was to create a great sounding headphone. However, it wasn’t until Omar Johnson came along that Beats became the most popular headphone for athletes and musicians. Johnson was able to turn a 180 million dollar company into a billion dollar enterprise through unconventional marketing tactics and his brand of insight, idea, execution and result. In his highly engaging talk, Johnson shows how he used curiosity and creativity to turn Beats headphones from a commodity product into an experience and an international brand.
- Marketing Brands with Authenticity and Emotion
Big companies spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to drive brand awareness, but Omar Johnson was able to make Beats headphones a viral social media phenomenon and an international success on almost no budget. Johnson learned the key to building great brand awareness was to listen, be curious, and to use truth and emotion to connect to the audience. In this talk, Johnson will share his experiences of creating emotional connections to a brand through innovative and unconventional marketing techniques.