Poet/writer hardCore of 3rd Eye Open dropped some serious knowledge on my entry about rappers nabbing car/sneakers endorsements, which is related to this POST about rappers and hip-hop marketing. Read below what the "advertising pimps" think about hip-hop:
From the mighty words of hardCore:
Peep game, being that I'm in advertising let me give you a little inside peek at how advertising pimps are looking at hip hop. For years companies have been sponsoring rappers on the low low. Nike has what they call "Nike athletes", people who wear their gear exclusively. And even though that entertainer didn't have their own shoe, seeing them in countless videos and appearances wearing Nikes made its point.
1) When a "rapper" signs any kind of deal with a major corporation, for the most part, they are looking to use the signing as major PR, and if the artist has a hot song out, they'll promote a tour or something of minimal cost like that to get the company's name out.Using the borrowed interest of the hot celebrity of the moment is just a cheap trick advertiser to gain their products attention. But whereas major money and thought goes behind developing the brands athletes endorse, the scope in which companies view these hip-hop artists is very small and short term.
2) Then there are commercials. Most of the TV ads that include rappers are diversity efforts, meaning they'll get play mainly on BET, and certain programming on mainstream TV geared toward African-Americans -- like Soul Train or The Essence Music Awards, or some Black show on UPN. Very rarely, almost never, will you see a rapper in a mainstream commercial -- when you do, it's memorable. Think [of] LL Cool J's and Run-DMC's Dr. Pepper commercial -- that was a mainstream commercial targeting a much bigger audience than hip hop.
3) Now you have rappers with their own shoes and cars named after them. Yet, those cars are always novelty cars, and those shoes, are usually treated as such too. For the corporations it's a win-win. If the rapper stays out of jail, and has a hit song, the company rides out the windfall, and enjoys [the] sales boost amongst young African-Americans. If the rapper gets in trouble, or if the product line fails, they sever ties with him, and his commercial, or print ad, or radio commercial never sees the light of day.
[Example: Pharrell Williams and Reebok. Pharrell's ice cream sneakers are wick-wick wack! -- Trent]
Don't be fooled into thinking some company understands African-Americans because they [signed] a deal with some hot artist. Look at their history with our market. Ask yourself how often in the past have you seen Black people in their commercials. Do research about their minority hiring within their company. Because if you don't, and you rush the store to buy some shoe with a rapper's name on it, when you leave that store, understand that you've just been pimped!