Friday, February 08, 2008

5095: A Career In Advertising Is A Hip Hop Away.

New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott reported on the predicted partnership between Steve Stoute of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging and Jay-Z. The duo will launch Translation Advertising to reach multicultural markets. On a side note, Elliott listed Jay-Z’s career highlights and wrote, “Now, he gets to add adman to his résumé.” Um, somebody tell the ad expert Elliott that Shawn Carter was named Co-Brand Director of Budweiser Select quite some time ago.

Not too sure about these ventures. Success in the entertainment field doesn’t necessarily translate to success on Madison Avenue. Jay-Z’s work for Budweiser Select has hardly been stellar. Diddy’s efforts for Ciroc vodka suck. Did Russell Simmons manage to get off the ground with his forays into the ad world? Elliott observed Spike Lee has bridged entertainment and marketing. Then again, Lee was directly involved on numerous commercial projects long before setting up his own agency. Additionally, one could easily debate Lee’s effectiveness in the ad biz.

Back in the 1990s, Coca-Cola hired Creative Artists Agency, hoping to tap into the company’s entertainment expertise. But that relationship inevitably fizzled out.

Why are Mad Ave executives so willing to hand over the reins to Black entertainers? You never see anyone considering Celine Dion or Josh Groban for creative director positions.


Anonymous said...

i can't disagree with you. but "you can't knock the hustle...". pun intended. ;-)

there's nothing wrong with parlaying accomplishments in one area - into another area. the connection btwn entertainment and madison avenue (or soho now-a-days) is stronger than ever. traditional AA agencies DO NOT seem to react to market changes and make those organizations more cutting edge. they continuously churn out tired, old, non-engaging work. and they are resistant to change and new ideas. so it only makes sense that people like diddy, jigga, stoute, spike (etc) try and mix things up a bit. i think it is very good for the business and will breed competition. sort of in the same way that rappers that are now into acting, have shaken up the film biz for classically trained black actors.

so i say "kudos" to these hip-hop trailblazers and i wish them well.

but conversely, they really need to hire professional staff though. you can't run ad agencies like you run record labels. things really become a mess that way.

HighJive said...

Agree with what you wrote, SKI. Just saying the success has not happened yet. It probably does go to the different “business models” in entertainment and advertising. Too bad these artists have not managed to reinvent the ad industry, seizing creative control back from the clients and suits. Also, it’s tougher for them to make major headway, as the clients will probably pigeonhole them versus recognizing they actually have access to the entire youth segment (versus the urban youth segment). Or the entire segment, period. The same pigeonholing is behind the inability of Black shops to progress—it’s often not the agencies holding the work back; rather, it’s the conservative clients.