All Articles Tagged "endorsement"
Misogynist rap lyrics are nothing new. But last week Rick Ross discovered the suggestion that he spike a woman’s champagne before having sex with her without her knowledge was a step too far. After radio stations banned his song, the rapper took to airwaves to plead his case.
The rapper’s apology wasn’t enough for some. (It was pretty terrible.) Protest group UltraViolet delivered 72,000-plus signatures to Reebok’s flagship store demanding they back away from their endorsement deal with Ross. The brand, who Ross name-dropped just a few beats before the lyrics in question, has remained silent on the issue. But, should brands be called in to play the role of morality police, making sure the artists who make their products cool stay on their best behavior?
Rewarding & Punishing Bad Behavior
Brands have distanced themselves from artists for bad behavior or questionable values before. T.I. lost his deal with Axe body spray after going to jail for violating probation in 2010. Chris Brown was dropped from Doublemint after his infamous Grammy night brawl with Rihanna. Pepsi cut ties with Madonna and later Ludacris when they didn’t agree with the images portrayed in their music.
When brands align themselves with artists like Rick Ross, they know what they’re getting themselves into. Ross made himself rich masquerading as a drug lord with murderous tendencies. Ross’ lyrics are horrible, but Reebok would come off a little hypocritical asking their “gangster” spokesperson to tone it down. (“We like you coke dangerous, but not date rape dangerous.”)
Companies, especially juggernauts like Reebok, don’t choose brand ambassadors haphazardly. They strategically choose public personas whose images are in line with their brand, and the lifestyle they want to sell.
Why Do Good Brands Like Bad Boys?
Cortez Bryant, co-founder of management firm handling Lil Wayne, a rapper who has also come under scrutiny for his lyrics, says that companies are willing to take a risk on artists who capture the attention of their target demographics, even when their track record is questionable. “You know, in the previous years we’ve had hard times, but people ‘get it’ for [his] brand,” he said of Wayne’s partnership with Mountain Dew. “It just seemed like where they were going with their brand, which is all about diversity and crossing barriers, is the same place we want to go.”
Would companies like Reebok dropping artists like Rick Ross make other artists rethink their lyrical content? Maybe. Hitting a person in their wallet is usually an effective way to get them to change their ways. But, at the end of the day, it isn’t Reebok’s job to change Ross.
Supplying The Demand
If Ross is selling a lifestyle the Reebok consumer wants to attain, the brand has a successful partnership. Unless their alliance with the rapper impacts their relationships with their other customers, say active women, the brand has no reason to walk away from him. Let’s be real. Ross’ controversy, like countless other rap lyric scandals will most likely fade from the news cycle, his fan base unbothered. If Reebok did drop his contract, he’d just find another brand to align with.
Brands can’t be relied on to influence artists. The more effective approach for those looking to curtail offensive messages against women may be to look at why personas like Ross and the lifestyle of drug-fueled chauvinistic fantasies he promotes are so attractive to some consumers. After all, brands and enterprising artists like Ross will always and only align themselves with what sells.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
You might have noticed (but probably not) that Tami Roman has been looking a little thinner around the middle lately. Apparently the “Basketball Wives” cast member dropped 25 pounds in the past two months using an unconventional weight loss method, but that’s not even the best news for her. As a result of her weight loss, the reality TV star has gained a six-figure endorsement deal to push the product that helped her shed the weight.
Sources close to Tami tell TMZ she got all the way up to 185 lbs recently and was determined to lose the weight. She started exercising her booty off, ate healthy food … and began using a product called NV Sprinkles — where you sprinkle powder on your food to make you eat less.
We’re told Tami dropped the weight in about two months and was so vocal in the press about the NV’s help in her speedy weight loss, the company actually approached her to be the face of the product.
Our sources say Tami signed on for a mid-six-figure endorsement deal and all she has to do is keep the weight off.
Discipline isn’t exactly Tami’s fortay, but we have figured out that she’ll do just about anything for a paycheck so those six figures she’s slated to earn should be just the motivation she needs to keep the pounds off. I’m curious who would trust a product endorsed by the reality TV bully and even more concerned that the idea of sprinkling a powdery substance on your food to make you eat less would be seen as a viable option. But if the Kardashians can get away with QuickTrim, Tami should be fine. What do you think?
Remember last week when Lil Wayne released that
craptacular mixtape, Dedication 4, and Nicki showed up on it, showing love to Mitt Romney? You remember! The rapper said something to the effect of, “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney, you lazy b——s are f—— up the economy.” Sounds like one of her usual puns, right? While it could have been assumed that she was just joking for the sake of lyricism (or attention), out of nowhere, everybody–even MSNBC–was talking about her alleged endorsement. Minaj had nothing to say about all the people in the news bringing it up, along with the blogs, and everyday folks going in on her, but that’s until President Obama threw his two cents in.
The Commander-in-chief spoke to a radio station in Orlando about all the hoopla that surrounded her lyrics, and he, for one, didn’t seem to take her comments seriously. I took what he said as the following fact: Nicki Minaj is a character. This is just what she does. In reference to her words and her “love” for Mitt Romney:
“I’m not sure that is actually what happened. I think she had a song on there, a little rap that said that. But, she likes to play different characters. So I don’t know what’s going on there.”
After the POTUS spoke for a quick second on Minaj, the rapstress finally decided to open up about who she’s really endorsing, and gave a big up to “smart people” who understood that she was joking in the first place. Of course, she expressed these feelings via her Twitter:
Interesting. It’s safe to say that when you can get the President of the United States to take time out of his day, and from talking about more important issues, to respond to a few lines from a forgetful song and mixtape, you’ve pretty much succeeded in stirring up controversy. And she’s becoming good at doing such a thing. I’m sure you heard that she admitted to saying she was bisexual for attention’s sake. I guess she gets how this celebrity thing works: Say what you can to get people talking, because there’s no such thing as bad press. Nicki might be smarter than your average bear, folks.
Lord help us all.
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Nicki Minaj’s endorsement of Mitt Romney instigated some of the splashiest headlines following the Labor Day weekend. Head scratching and eye rolls accompanied readers’ mouse clicks, racking up traffic numbers for news and gossip websites. “I’m a Republican voting for Mitt Romney,” she said on her mentor Lil Wayne’s mixtape. “You lazy b***** are f****** up the economy.”
Later in the week, panicked tweets began to surface. Chicago is losing its mind. A sixteen-year-old rapper named JoJo was killed after being shot twice on Tuesday. The incident occurred hours after a video emerged of JoJo taunting a rival named Lil Reese, an associate of popular rapper Chief Keef, making the violent lifestyle Chicago’s drill music glorifies that much more real. Keef’s notoriety stems from “I Don’t Like,” a local anthem made popular nationwide when Kanye West remixed the song with his G.O.O.D. labelmates.
With her closet full of wigs and the wardrobe of a teen in Tokyo, Nicki Minaj doesn’t present herself as someone to be taken seriously for her political views. Perhaps that’s why she felt she could get away with an easy punch line that puts down others to illustrate her supremacy. Most of her fans aren’t old enough to vote. What harm could it do?
What harm could a remix do either? West repeatedly partners with rappers who have grittier followings (including G.O.O.D. signees 2 Chainz and Pusha T) to appropriate buzz in the streets that his “luxury rap” distances him from. Not only that, he was able to bring attention to emerging music in his hometown. Everybody wins, right?
Everybody except for the impressionable young fans that take Minaj’s demonization of poor people as gospel. Except for kids like JoJo, certainly not the last to get swept up in a scene that produces music videos with kids as young as thirteen brandishing automatic weapons and throwing up gang signs. A scene that the music industry had already started to monetize.
As an immigrant raised in Queens, I doubt Minaj believes the poor are to blame for the nation’s ills and that the wealthy are better than the class she was born into. As a native of Chicago, I doubt West wants to promote music that fuels the killing of black youth. But their endorsements, ironic or otherwise, send a different message.
Whether Minaj took herself seriously or not, she used her influence to champion an elitist mindset without offering the slightest critique. Whether West intended to or not, he validated and publicized art that encourages violence, without the critical thinking artists like Lupe Fiasco have brought to the table. These messages are now tied to their brand, whether they like it or not.
Minaj and West’s missteps are unfortunate, and reflect a lesson we all should learn. An endorsement is not something to be taken lightly. Up-and-coming artists and politicians clamor for the stamp of approval of popular artists and publications for a reason. An endorsement transfers over a portion of the co-signers resources, influence, and reputation without signing a single contract. It doesn’t take an official partnership to endorse something; your words and actions speak just as loudly.
Before you align yourself with an outside person, brand, cause, or organization, do your research. It is important to have a solid understanding of what you are supporting and why you are supporting it. Your co-sign should do more than bolster your ego; it should promote your values.
The public wants the people and organizations they support to stand for something of value. Eighty-three percent of Americans say they wish brands would support causes, and 41 percent have bought a product because it was associated with a cause. With success comes an increase in power and responsibility. Ask yourself, what are you using your influence to promote?
It’s still raining awfully heavily in Ochocinco-Lozada land. Just when it seemed like Chad might still have at least one source of income, an endorsement deal he had with Zico coconut water was yanked right out from under him less than a month after he signed on the dotted line July 25.
A rep for Zico released a statement yesterday which read:
“In light of recent events involving Mr. Johnson, we have decided to terminate our relationship. The values we espouse, through our employees, our customers and our brand, are central to our mission. We have taken this proactive step to demonstrate just how important those values are.”
In other words, they don’t support cheating and headbutting of any kind.
I’m not sure if Chad has anything else to lose after parting with his wife, his team, his show, and his endorsement deal all in a matter of four or five days, but for some reason I don’t feel safe saying the former Dolphins player has officially hit rock bottom. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned into a Terrell Owens situation with the mothers of his children ganging up on him if he can’t manage to keep up his child support payment given his current economic situation.
On Twitter, Chad’s avatar (below) reflects the tight situation he’s found himself in, and his daughter, who appears to be his spitting image even in a blurred photo, has also spoken out about her dad’s situation.
It might be too late for Chad and Ev to forgive and forget, but her gesture was sweet.
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by Alexander Cain
Thanks in part to the popularity of celebrity media outlets like TMZ, Star Magazine, and countless others, access to the personal lives of our favorite celebrities is easier than ever. Twitters allows celebrities and anyone close by to share news and information to millions. The consequences of this information influx can be seen throughout media: more headline news of our favorite celebrities heading to rehab, getting into trouble, or showing destructive behavior. What might seem like harmless gossip about famous people can cost stars millions of dollars due to a loss in endorsements or a loss in work.
Personal lives and the celebrity persona are often blended together for many stars. As celebrities’ personal lives begin to take a hit, the public becomes engaged and the problems begin to mount for many of our famous figures. Two famous athletes, Michael Vick and Tiger Woods, are perfect examples of how an incident in one’s personal life can have severe repercussions to one’s celebrity. Michael Vick was sentenced to two years for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. According to a MSNBC report, his combined loss between his NFL income and endorsements was over $24.5 million a year. Even today, Mike Vick is still paying off all of the debtors he owes, because of all the income he lost while in prison. Even without committing a crime, a major event such as divorce or adultery can cost a celebrity millions.
Tiger Woods involved in the sex scandal also lost key endorsements including Gatorade, AT&T, and Accenture amounting to close to $22 million. Even those affiliated with hip-hop, music that often boasts evading the law and engaging in unlawful activities, can be hurt by their unlawful ways.
T.I. who was recently sentenced to prison again for violating his probation, lost two of his major endorsements with Axe Body Spray and Remy Martin Cognac. Even more important than losing an endorsement is losing time, which could’ve been spent on touring. For many artists, the income comes from touring. Artists can make upwards to $100,000 per show with increases depending on profit-sharing percentage. With prison time sentencing, while it might not mean a drop in album sales, can mean less time for touring and less money earned throughout the year.
While prison might mean lost income for some, other superstars are immune to any losses for album sales. Lil’ Wayne stands an example of a superstar’s popularity that couldn’t be lessened. His album, I’m Not A Human Being, released during his prison stint was a Billboard #1 album and the first album since Tupac Shukar’s Me Against the World Album to reach #1 while the artist was in jail. Lil’ Wayne has proven that a star’s faithful following will continue to support an artist even while serving a stint in jail.
Getting into trouble forces celebrities to evaluate their private lives and re-assess their priorities. As they stay in seclusion away from the spotlight, they are also losing the attention of their fans and the public as a whole. With such an influx of media at everyone’s disposal, if a celebrity doesn’t make headlines, they are easily forgotten. The cost of getting into trouble can cause a celebrity millions in endorsement or other opportunities.
(Forbes) – Within the last three weeks several sports sponsorship deals have come to an end. Monster.com opted out of its relationship with the NFL. Citi dropped the presenting sponsorship of The Rose Bowl. UBS relinquished its role as main sponsor of The Players Championship. The economic recession of 2009 may be over according to GDP and economic indicator data, but this recession will have a lasting impact on corporate America’s willingness to activate sports sponsorships and its doggedness to analyze the financial merits of such relationships.
(Sole Redemption) — Denver Nuggets star and Air Jordan icon, Carmelo Anthony is blessed once again with a new pair of basketball shoes labeled as the Jordan Future Sole Melo M6. As the main endorser of the Melo line, Anthony got the latest release of this shoe in black nubuck upper with a side panel that features polka dots and a quilted collar.
(Newsone.com) — Kraft Foods is freshening up the image of its Jell-O brand by pairing up with an old friend. Comedian Bill Cosby joins the gelatin and pudding brand again after a 10-year hiatus, but this time he’ll be behind the camera as part of the brand’s biggest marketing effort ever. comedian, whose work with Jell-O dates to 1974, will be an executive producer for the “Hello Jell-O” campaign, which starts with national advertisements on Monday. In return, Jell-O will be the presenting sponsor of Cosby’s new weekly Web series called “OBKB.”