So here's the relatively new Vitaminwater commercial featuring 50 Cent:
Vitaminwater is on the cutting edge of youth-voice marketing. Off the top of my head I can't think of a brand, beside Apple, that has so effectively used the power of "cool" advertising/marketing. Glaceau (maker of Vitaminwater) recently sold to Coca Cola for 4+ billion dollars, demonstrating the power of funny, cutesy blurbs and a good name. But now they're doing television commercials. And this one with 50 Cent has a clear TAN sensibility. So what do we think?
Concept: 50 Cent plays orchestra conductor for the National Symphony.
The basic premise here strikes me as surprisingly dated for Vitaminwater. The hip hop street rapper in the contrasting upscale, classical environs has been mined to the point of cliche. That said, this criticism is with the traditional young, hip Vitaminwater demo in mind. If they now have their eye on expanding out of that market, these basic "assimilated negro" setups still play with the slightly older thirty/forty-something set.
The execution follows the same logic, with no real twist or unexpected angle on the setup, like, for example, the spot with Kelly Clarkson. I suspect this is the commercial 50 Cent would approve of, and maybe even direct. Most rappers act like they're cutting edge, because hip hop used to automatically classify you as such, but really they're all safe and boring (like TAN!). The lines where the announcers take a slight pause and inform us that Curtis Jackson is also known as 50 Cent, and the bit about Beethoven being a "true OG," those lines aren't for the kids. The kids know who 50 Cent is, and me and my TAN peeps were running "Nietzsche/Socrates/Mozart are friggin' gangsta" jokes back in the prep school days, so those can't be used as punchlines so many years later. Swapping out the viola is a fun little accent that's well played, but again, nothing new there.
50 Cent has a handful of popular recognizable songs at this point. And "In The Club" is likely the most popular and recognizable. I wonder if Glaceau had to pay extra for the song rights, or if that's all in their deal with 50. The song makes the commercial, it's cool how a few bars of that song capsulizes so much of the urban-cool ethos. So valuable, and so worth it.
Anywater, we're running out of time here. I like the commercial, it's better than most. But for Vitaminwater, a brand I've come to expect envelope-pushing creativity from, I'm a little disappointed.
Of course I may just be biased since I have a little history with 50 Cent, Vitaminwater, and Formula 5-0.
What's The Formula Yo? (audio) [TAN]