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He’s not a business man, he’s a business, man!

The link between a celebrity and your brand can get you a lot of attention, for both the right reasons- look at the exposure the new tie up between Pepsi Max and magician Dynamo received just last weekend, but also the wrong reasons. Luis Suarez was in trouble from his sponsors Adidas following the moment he bit Branislav Ivanovic, and we all remember how Tiger Wood’s extra marital activities reportedly cost all parties – not just Tiger – $12billion back in 2008.

However last week one brand played the ultimate ambassador card; Samsung. The technology giant has teamed up the music megastar Jay-Z, in a movement which showcases the true power of a celebrity ambassador. On 16th June SamsungMobileUSA uploaded a three minute video of (Jay-Z’s pseudonym) speaking about his upcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail. The video which included other big names from the hip hop/music industry – Pharrell, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Swizz Beatz, also appeared in the ad break of the NBA Finals Game Five.

This video marked the announcement of a $5million deal* that sees one million Samsung Galaxy users get hold of the album three days before general release, via a bespoke app which launched onto the Google Play store on 24th June.

This is a clever move by Samsung as not only did the video (which I forgot to mention received two million views in under 24 hours), generate media interest and a story as to the fact that Jay-Z was launching a new album, it also led to the front cover of the latest issue of Billboard Magazine featuring Mr Carter (yes he has yet another pseudonym) inside a blueprint of a Samsung Galaxy. However most importantly it shows the future of marketing and the power of exclusive content.

To me this video was the first to ever make me question my choice of phone (I’m currently using an iPhone 4) and that in itself shows the power of having a celebrity ambassador and having content that your target consumers want. In the case of Samsung it is clearly challenging the musical heritage of Apple and has thrown down the gauntlet!

One thing is certain, in this case Samsung has picked the perfect ambassador and its ROI will be massive, whether you’re measuring media coverage, talkability, content views or even the increased brand awareness. Ultimately this brand partnership has certainly ticked all the boxes and has made one thing very clear Jay-Z lives up to his own lyric, “I’m not a business man, I’m a business, man???**.
*This is the figure quoted by The Drum, other outlets have reported it could in fact be part of a larger $20 million deal
**Diamonds from Sierra Leone: Remix, Kanye West & Jay-Z, 2005

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