Jun 15, 2006

Cristal shoots itself in the flute

Cristal was the "8th most mentioned brand on Billboard's Top 100 chart in 2005 with 35 namedrops" according to Eurweb.com. Jay-Z, a rap artist and club owner, was in love with this brand. He sang about it, served it in his clubs, and drank it during concerts according to a 2004 article:

"Jay-Z even takes Cristal onstage...Jay-Z seems to have become a pitchman for Cristal, the Paul Masson of our time...In Jay-Z's song, "Excuse Me, Miss," he says: "You can't even drink Crist-OWL ... you gotta drink Crist-ALL." (Imagine the rapper as Pygmalion, trying to give his scantily clad protege elocution lessons on pronouncing the French diphthongs in Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon.)"

The article goes on to highlight the boost champagne gets from all the attention rap artists bring to it:
"New York-based Scarborough Research found that people who have attended a hip-hop concert are 77 percent more likely than the general public to buy Champagne. And a recent study by New Media Strategies, a research company in Washington, D.C., showed that 60 percent of consumers who consider themselves hip-hop fans are likely to buy products mentioned by rappers."

So here you have this obvious brand fanatic, Jay-Z, boosting the relevancy of the brand to the massclusivity-conscious middle-class, possibly increasing it's sales, and what does Cristal do?
"In a special edition of The Economist Magazine, the managing director of Louis Roderer Cristal described the rap community’s promotion of the drink as "unwelcome attention." "What can we do?" said managing director Frédéric Rouzaud in the article titled Bubbles & Bling. "We can't forbid people from buying it. I'm sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."

Wow. Talk about a giant slap in the face. Going from love to shove, Jay-Z of course is now boycotting:
"...I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including The 40/40 Club nor in my personal life."

Stupid move, Cristal. You had brand evangelists, loyalists, people who co-opted your luxurious brand into their lives and told other people about it, something other brands would kill for...or at least pay for. And you throw it away with some stupid comments. Well, don't worry. You can always make ammends. Talk to Jay-Z and apologize. He is available for interview through Ron Berkowitz at 212-889-5755 and Ron@BerkCommunications.com. You can turn this around, Cristal! Do it!

(Sources: MTV, Eurweb, Mariah Daily, Interest Alert)

No comments:

Who links to my website?