Thursday, October 19, 2006
AdAge.com published the story below, which inspired interesting responses…
Jay-Z Gets a Marketing Title at Anheuser-Busch
Rapper Named ‘Co-Brand Director’ for Budweiser Select
By Jeremy Mullman
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Anheuser-Busch is hoping Jay-Z can bring Budweiser Select beer the kind of blingy success Courvoisier and Cristal have enjoyed.
‘His unique spin’
A-B named the aspiring hip-hop mogul -- aka Shawn Carter – “co-brand director” for Bud Select today, noting, in a press release, that the rapper “will participate in Budweiser Select planning sessions to provide his unique spin, thoughts and insights on various brand programs.”
The release added: “Jay-Z also will be involved in providing direction on other upcoming Budweiser Select television ads, radio spots, print campaigns and several high-profile events.”
A-B’s VP-brand management, Marlene Coulis, was unavailable to immediately answer questions about the extent of Jay-Z’s role on the brand.
In sales slump
But clearly, the No. 1 brewer is hoping the rapper can restore momentum for the upscale light-beer brand, which has seen sales slump following an $84 million launch in 2005 that turned the brand into the No. 13 beer brand in the U.S.
In a TV spot airing during tonight’s baseball playoff game on Fox, Bud Select product placements will be incorporated into scenes from a video from Jay-Z’s upcoming album, “Kingdom Come,” which is scheduled for release Nov. 21. The spot, by Cannonball, St. Louis, also features car-racing stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick.
It’s not known whether Jay-Z -- a onetime pitchman for Heineken -- will supplement or supplant A-B’s incoming CEO, August Busch IV, as the brand’s primary spokesman. It was also unclear whether the rapper intends to drop references to Bud Select into song lyrics, as other hip-hop artists have done with brands such as Courvoisier, Hennessey, Cristal and Don Perignon.
According to San Francisco consulting firm Agenda, which tracks brand mentions in song lyrics for its annual “American Brandstand” survey, no beer brands were mentioned in hip-hop lyrics during 2005, although import brand Corona did land three mentions during 2004.
> We have always been taught to think outside the box. A-B is doing just that. Jay-Z is a brand on himself. Let him help A-B with his Midas touch and the results will tell us whether it was a worthwhile venture. — LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
> Bud is an old brand with an old taste. this is like the old guy in the club trying to act young. too late. Bud’s always been the “grown up, all-american guy” beer. now it wants to be in the hood where outcasts grow up to make good on the american dream? sure, pass me one, i’ll buy this. and so will every other brother/sister. because Auggie has always been soooo down. lookit, you drink beer you like, you vibe with liquor brands that vibe with you. A-B needs to figure out how to vibe with the drinkers they’ve always cared about--mainstream “all-american” types, not the ones whose money they want just because their core audience ain’t checkin’ for their heavy-ass dry tasting beer like it’s 1985 anymore. i like Jay, he’s smart. but given this industry’s wonderful embrace of ethnic talent and perspectives, the chances they’ll listen to anything dude has to say other than, “i’ll do a free show for A-B/mention you on Kingdom Come” is slim and none. — chicago, IL
> Rap isn’t music, it’s just a huge corporate marketing ploy, and this is only another example of that. Just give me a good microbrew and call it a day! — Seattle, WA
> It’s crazy how far Jay-Z has expanded on hip hop music. He’s paving the way for all musicians and artists to break out of their small box mindset. — Kansas City, MO
> This is complete garbage. I will now tell everyone I know about this sad display of humanity. — PORTLAND, OR