CBC Marketplace - Rhyme Pays: Hip Hop and the Marketing of Cool

Moving Image
Betacam SP
Created: 2004


CBC Marketplace - Rhyme Pays: Hip Hop and the Marketing of Cool
Summary: "Rhyme Pays explores the unexpected marriage between hip hop and advertising--and how the purchases you're making may have been influenced by the popularity of those products within the hip hop industry. Rhyme Pays looks at how the hip hop industry uses the fantasy of living large and in charge to get you to buy stuff--without you even knowing they're selling something.

'Canadian teens have a mind-blowing $25 billion a year in spending money, so it's no wonder marketers are looking to hip hop music to try to cash in. Product placement has been happening in movies for years--think Reese's Pieces and E.T.--and with savvy consumers no longer paying much attention to commercials, what better way to sell your product than by slipping it into they lyrics they listen to and the videos they watch over and over again.

'Hip hop has always featured self-styled bad boys hustling consumerism as rebellion, but urban marketing has ratcheted up the sales pitch. In some cases, hip hop songs and videos have promoted [products] to secondary star status, creating an association between rapper and brand that makes a product [irresistible] to viewers with a desire to live the life. Urban marketer Russell Simmons kicked off the trend when he took the Run DMC song My Adidas and turned it into a multi-million dollar deal for the rap group and put the running shoe company at the [forefront] of the hip hop scene. Reporter Clifton Joseph talks to Simmons and Run DMC about the groundbreaking deal. Once all about being anti-establishment and the integrity of the music, today's rap superstars don't mind using their street cred to push a product and make a profit. We'll get the scoop on: why Reebok gave self-proclaimed 'psycho' 50 Cent his own shoe--and how his gangsta image is helping sell footwear; why MuchMusic pulled the video for Nelly's smash hit Air Force Ones; and which video game company paid big bucks to get Choclair seen playing their game. We'll talk to Jay Z's business partner Damon Dash and hang out behind the scenes at Rock-a-fella's New York headquarters.

'Rhyme Pays: Hip Hop and the Marketing of Cool features a soundtrack by Agile of the Canadian hip hop group Brassmunk, original music and video performances by up-and-coming Canadian rappers, and interviews with Canadian hip hop stars."--2004 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: CBC

Broadcast Date: 6-Apr-04