PMG Digital Made for Humans

Straight Outta Somewhere

Viral marketing sensation garnered 7 Cannes Lions


  • Full-Funnel Omnichannel Media Strategy, Planning and Buying
  • Data & Analytics
  • Reporting & Data Visualization
  • Creative
  • Global Reach

With the highly anticipated release of Straight Outta Compton, the biopic featuring the origin story of pioneering hip hop group NWA (and Beats by Dr. Dre’s co-founder), the brand sought to launch a digital campaign to promote the film, create affinity through social engagement, and extend the reach of the campaign’s videos. With Beats already being the leading music and lifestyle brand in the world, PMG’s objective was to go beyond the core hip hop community and engage a broad range of fans and consumers globally.

We sought to leverage the broad cultural momentum of the film with a simple idea: create a customizable meme that allowed people to “rep their own city.” Users would show the world their own origin story by uploading their photo and filling in the blank after “Straight Outta ____.” Consumers participated via the campaign’s microsite across desktop and mobile devices, and Beats’ family of celebrity endorsers were mobilized to extend messaging to their fans.

In total, there were 8.7 million memes created and shared, 27 million video views, and 12.5 million microsite visitors.

people reached worldwide
trending item on major social networks
memes created and shared
online revenue increase
Cannes Lions awards

PMG built a media and creative program that leveraged mobile and social media to drive engagement. To create a frictionless experience and generate user content through mobile, we created a unique iAd unit that allowed users to create memes directly in-ad and share to their social networks. We then amplified the talent content and curated “best of” consumer content through the brand's social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Our influencer activation led to organic amplification of the #StraightOutta meme. To ensure the campaign maintained support across all channels during the flight, we also launched an extensive SEM campaign to capture search query traffic related to the movie and the meme.

#StraightOutta catapulted from a simple meme generator to a viral social trend seeping into the fabric of culture. With memes generated from hip-hop and sports fans to celebrities, brands, and even the White House, users jumped on the opportunity to make a statement.

With the viral nature of the meme gaining momentum, #StraightOutta became the number one trending item simultaneously on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — something never achieved before. At the campaign’s peak, there were an average of 15,000 #StraightOutta tweets and retweets per minute.

The press made sure to follow suit. The campaign was covered in over 100 major news publications and blogs (including CNN, Washington Post, MTV News, Fortune, Forbes, Business Insider, BuzzFeed and a lot more) as a clever marketing effort that not only pushed the film into mainstream culture, but also "took over the Internet." The earned media had a reach of more than 1.2 billion people worldwide.

In addition to being the top trending item on social networks, the campaign was also the top searched term on Google and Bing.

Another indicator of just how pervasive the meme got was how other marketers jumped on the bandwagon and created their own memes, such as 7-Eleven, Snickers, and Whataburger, to name only a few. The movement also jumped into the political realm, as the White House (controversially) used it to sell the proposed nuclear accord with Iran (i.e., Straight Outta Uranium). In other words, this campaign didn’t simply deliver on media impact, but in fact, established culture.

Beyond social engagement, the campaign was also instrumental in driving sales for Beats by Dr. Dre, as online revenue jumped 30% during the campaign period, with some products seeing transaction lift as high as 289%.

It wasn’t about Compton as a place anymore, it became about being proud of where you’re from.
Omar Johnson, CMO, Beats by Dre via The Hollywood Reporter