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Showing posts from February, 2010

MMA's Tapout Brand makes one masterpiece of an ad

One of the first MMA apparel brands to exist, Tapout was truly years ahead of its time. Almost every real fighter, and many wanna be fighters rock their cutting edge t-shirts and hats. They recently began to make TV ads recently. All of them I liked, but this one...This one, I love.

In it, you will find Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) icon Robert Drysdale doing a dynamic move called "the flying armbar". For the uninitiated it looks like a simple tackle, turned judo throw. But really, the opponent lands in a smooth arm lock. The direction, the music and the move itself are beautifully executed. They don't have to say "The best fighters on the planet wear our brand"- they just showed you.

When the average UFC fan watches this ad, they may like it for the coolness of the ad itself. But real MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fans who live and breathe this sport know Drysdale and they will feel a cultural connection that breeds brand loyalty long after the ad is over.

Here are a…

Sears and Kenmore do it right with b-boys in latest ad...

On twitter @missesbishop (add her) told me about a Sears/Kenmore add using b-boys. This thing was well done. The premise of how the b-boys were used was PERFECT and the moves they did were choreographed well. I appreciate the lead.

If you ever find a commercial that YOU think should be on here, hit me at and its a done deal. I always give props so, share your twitter address so we can all build with you.

NOTE TO ALL ADVERTISING & PR HEADS: B-boys are often horrifically called BREAKDANCERS. Nobody who loves the art of b-boying or Hip-Hop does that. As soon as you say "breakdancers" we know you are out of the loop on the essence of Hip-Hop. We know you don't know US. Please stop doing it. If you need to know more about b-boying I suggest starting with The Freshest Kids:

Jay-Z and HP murder it and you never even see him...

HP did the thug thizz right there. Jay-Z was just about at the apex of his game when this ad dropped. The hologram effects and the casual conversation gave HP an amazing edge. The ad dripped confidence and coolness like few urban ads have. It also gave Hip-Hop a mature look that was long overdue and it did not looked forced.

-Beyond Urban Branding

Just watching the game, havin' a Bud....

Once again, the alcohol companies knock it out of the park. Here we go with Budweiser and the world famous "Whazaaaaap" ad. While it is not "Hip-Hop" specific, it does exploit mainstream America's fascination with African-American street lingo aka "ebonics". Who wasn't doing the "Wazaaaaap" thing for at least 3 months after this ad dropped? You know you were doing it....Liar!! Almost all the Black guys I know who drink, never drink Bud by choice...But they'll take it if its free. Nevertheless this ad certainly gave Bud a lifetime hood pass.

-Beyond Urban Branding

50 Cent & Vitamin Water Flow Fresh in this Ad

50 Cents Vitamin Water ad was great. It felt half like an ad, and half like an SNL skit. It was comedic, yet tasteful. It was creative, without being ridiculous. I still remember how much I laughed the first time I saw it. It was very well done.

And to think, he made 100 million on Vitamin Water after all was said an done.

BONUS Interview I did with 50th Law co-author Robert Greene:

-Beyond Urban Branding

The One Time Sprite Came Tight: KRS ONE Vs. MC Shan

This is possibly Sprites greatest moment doing a Hip-Hop related ad. Here they pit long time rivals KRS ONE against MC Shan. These two had a very historic battle in the early days of rap, that set a high standard for lyrical dexterity in rhyme battles.To have these guys in a boxing ring was the perfect setting. Even little things like having DJ Kid Kapri be the ref and DJ Kool Red Alert as the corner man show how highly detailed the vision for this ad was. Easily one of the best urban ads ever done.

-Beyond Urban Branding

Drake drinkin' Sprite?? Thats gotta work, right?

In all my running around, I TOTALLY missed this ads existence. I actually kind of like Drake and I looked forward to seeing it. Clyde Smith at posted it- so I had to check it out.

My gut reaction, you ask? "Meh, its ok."

On a lot of levels, I feel like an opportunity was blown. Drake is so large right now. Maybe they gave this to an old guy who just did not bother to try. Maybe they were convinced the special effects would "wow" people. Its kind of a shoulder shrugger to me. But at the end of the day, they got Drake drinking Sprite- and thats all they really need, I guess. I'm gonna watch it again. It just feels like yet another squandered moment in urban Brand history.

While preparing to post this I found another Drake ad. Its for Strapped Condoms. This is moment number two, in squandered brand moment for Drake. Its just kinda boring. I'm 100% for safe sex. I think they did the right thing in using Drake (any brand that can get him should …

Old Spice LL Cool J Ad for "swagger"- FAIL

I knew when Old Spice dropped these ads, they would fail. I knew they would suck. The first issue is, the brand is Old Spice . The most obvious angle to me would be to frame LL Cool J the old school rap star as an old school artist who uses old school/traditional deodorant. The theme should have been on keeping tradition...Instead they tried to make something old (the positioning of the brand) mix with something new ("swagger") a new school term. They should have either went straight old school, or went with the new rapper like Souljah Boy or Plies (Lord knows he could use some deodorant) and pushed for a completely youth angle. They weakly mixed old and new and came up empty. I dont even know if they sell "swagger" anymore. Not sure I care either. For the record, I dont know ONE person who liked the ads, or bought Old Spice because of these ads.

Anyway here it is:

-Beyond Urban Branding

P.S. I think using names like "swagger", "hyphy" (and i he…

St. Ides Perfected the Hip-Hop Ad...Straight up.

The most authentic urban ads in the history of the game, all come from alcohol companies. This saddens me greatly, because, I've always felt that many of these companies used their accurate knowledge of Hip-Hop and urban subculture to target underage kids. This is not something that you can prove, but, its hard not to believe that is the case.

The truth is, whoever created these campaigns knew what they were doing. When these ads first hit, I was in love with them and tried to tape as many as I could of the air. These ads did not FEEL LIKE ADS. They felt like rap songs. Any brand that can master that, has a winning campaign.

The bottom line is that Puffy and Ciroc Vodka could have never happened, Jay and Armand de Brignac would have never existed without St. Ides paving the way. These are just a few of the ads St. Ides have made. They've made many more than I can list but some of them include Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Geto Boys and many others. St. Ides also got major shouts out on I…

MC Hammer & KFC

When this commercial first came out, boy, did Hammer catch it from a lot of folks in the rap world. He did not care really, because he was on top of it. Really, there is nothing wrong with the ad culturally speaking. The thing is, at the time, there was a lot of rap groups confronting a lot of the race issues of the time. This KFC ad was seen by many within the Hip-Hop and the Black community as degrading. However, from a business perspective, Hammer never really got credit for being one of the first rappers to get endorsement deals of that size. I bet that check he cashed made history!!

-Beyond Urban Branding

In the beginning, there was Michael...

This is the first commercial I remember that incorporated Hip-Hop dance. Now, mind you, its Michael Jackson doing it...But, still, I don't remember seeing any national commercials with Hip-Hop dance in it until this. That kid in the red jacket was LARGE at the time. He went onto do Fresh Prince of Bel Air (playing Carlton) among other things. Lets take a look at how a lot of it began. Its funny now to think how much of an impact this ad had in getting more corporations to use Hip-Hop/urban themes in their campaigns.

-Beyond Urban Branding

Hip-Hop DX Editorial on the Holiday Nike Ad

Hip-Hop DX did an editorial on the Christmas ad campaign ran by Nike. I thought this was interesting (though I don't fully agree with the author):

Be sure to check out the comments below. Just do it.

In case you missed the ad itself, here it is:

-Beyond Urban Branding