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Does Hip Hop still sell products?

When I was a kid, Hip Hop was blissful unadulterated fun. It rewrote and remixed my childhood. Now it is truly a many splintered thing. Some good, some bad, some culturally regressive & asphyxiating. I believe after the first hot sixteen bars were vocalized someone tried to sell it. And Hip Hop has been selling every since.

Palm implores Hip Hops muscle by using the Mighty Mos Def to bring flavor, subtext and a modern context to Palm Os mobile phones. After seeing a million mobile phone commercials over the years this one with the Mos track actually made me pay a little attention but I don't know how much I care about it over all. I'm not knocking the spot itself, it shows up and does its job. The more I watched the spot, the more I like it. I'm not slighting the track. It feels fresh in and of itself, it's a great choice. But does it really help to sell them there phones remains to be seen. I'm happy the Mighty Mos is getting that endorsement money. He deserves it and like I said earlier it did make me look at a spot for a mobile device/software even without Flava Flav yelling at me, "Who Dis!?" But combined, does it interest you in this product? Maybe it would be a good idea if they included the actual artist?

Vitamin Water took a slightly different approach and actually got my attention and made me smile. Kid Cudi does the Voice Over, the music and may even actually be the character in the 'pillow-head' costume - or not. Either way he lends his relative celebrity and his "I'm your good buddy Kid Cudi" personality to this cleverly written commercial. But will it move VWater? Don't know, but, it certainly doesn't hurt the brand. It feels light hearted and very approachable. Unlike those early 50 cent - better work out or get the sh*t kicked out of you ads. This is lightyears away from that initial Vwater seriousness and a welcome breath of branding jocularity.
I think hip hop still sells and exceedingly well. So much so that parasitic Wigger rap is still showing no sign of being less offensive or more appealing to culturally clueless advertising agencies and giant general market advertisers. It's become an easy default comedic execution for so many ads it's dizzying. Hyp-hop-notizing even, so much so that Ad shops and their clients can't see beyond their dream of having done something like something else they thought was cool. The Art Director and Copywriter get to finally express the lukewarm adoration of the music, the client gets to sell up this idea to the lot above and say, "see this is what the kids are into and well, frankly you don't get it." The anachronistic mockery below is from P&G and well it's ridiculous to the 'F'th degree. 
But, will it sell? It would seem so, the audience and purveyors of ignorance knows no color line. But they do know the bottom line. Even though this is just a shell of what the best of Hip Hop was/is and can represent, it's still powerful and intriguing enough to at least get maximum attention for being immediately attractive, seducing, polarizing, ugly and ultimately penetratingly relevant to some part of its audience. 
The greater tragedy is the enormous lost opportunity to get in better - where they fit in. By that I mean look at where Vitamin Water took it. They embraced the art form of Hip Hop and had fun 'with' one of its emerging characters. This continues to build on the authentic base the brand has developed over the years. This 'Cudi' spot may be a one off, but its legacy will continue to swell. The Bounty and Muscle Milk ads scream, "we don't have any ideas and lack a central brand message to promote, so -umm, watch this, aint we cute?"  The oh so lame, outdated, sucking wind, zombie-won't-die, frat-boy humor in the Muscle Milk ad literally pains me to watch. 

More-over I wonder outside of the agency, who finds this amusing, entertaining, desirable or informative? Well, somebody does because the Bounty spot has landed over 400,000 hits, probably not the Moms or home category leader they are really after. But hey, they went viral right. Somehow this seems to be the ultimate goal in spite the damaging results. Also the Muscle Milk Mock-Hop has over 700,000 complete with ranting and warring comments like: "celebrating chumps everywhere and selling them shit to get them ready for spring break with hot bimbos/hoes" -teen17. The end justifies the mean words, I guess? So the lame-train has no end in site apparently. Due to the shorthand language nature of advertising, the homogeneity of staffing (DIVERSITY NOW!) and the ongoing popularity of Rap music, this dangerous admixture still has a few more debilitating bars to cough up and aimlessly spit out.


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