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LISA NAPOLI: After dissing the champagne he used to guzzle, now rapper Jay-Z has found a different brew. Anheuser-Busch has hired him to promote Bud Select. Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler says there’s more to this gig than celebrity pitchman.
JEFF TYLER: Normally, companies hire popular musicians to give products some street cred. But with Jay-Z, Budweiser is banking on more than a celebrity pitchman.
BENJ STEINMAN: “He’s actually going to be involved in the whole marketing process, and that’s sort of the unique twist in this particular situation. Perhaps unprecedented.”
That’s Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights. He says Jay-Z brings to the partnership a marketing expertise he’s sharpened in the music and apparel industries.
Anheuser-Busch hopes the rapper will help distinguish Bud-Select from other beers and its other brands.
STEINMAN:“Something different from Budweiser or Bud Light, you know? They just want to have another line extension that enables them to grow the Budweiser franchise without cannibalizing the other brands.”
In an effort to attract budding beer-drinkers in their twenties, the company is also developing an Internet site called Bud-TV.
Expect to see a cameo by Jay-Z.
I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.
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