Why Diddy Do it?

So what was the biggest marketing news of the week? That single-advertiser (Target) New Yorker issue? Some new strategy Apple has for it's iPod? A new Martha Stewart probation violation? Nah. It was an exhilarating moment carried live on the Today show and reported in every newspaper from USA Today to the Winnetka Kindergarten Gazette and consequently discussed under the fluorescents everywhere. That's right: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs will stop 'P'-ing. He asked to now simply be known as Sean "Diddy" Combs.

The 'P.,' he explained, "was getting between us."

This follows in the steps of previous public nicknames, "Puffy," then "Puff Daddy." And every time it changed, he made the papers. So is freshening up your "handle" good marketing? Will "Diddy" sell more CDs, reality shows, and zip-up jackets (oh, let's not forget—his clothing line is named something entirely different: "Sean John") than "Puffy" would? Is constant name-changing good marketing? And is this good strategy for making headlines?

Discuss, P.eeps. (And while we're at it, anyone have any ideas as to what Combs' future nicknames might be?)

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15 Comments

  • Jon Moore

    Does he derserve it? Who knows. Will he change his name again due to declining sales? Probably. Do I think it's smart? Yes I do. He's using what he's got, to get what he wants. It's an effective job at PR and Grassroots. As they say in the hip-hop community "he's keeping his name on the streets."

  • Jason

    Surprising that John Cougar Mellencamp didn't get as much coverage when we switched to just John Cougar. Very compelling.

  • Joe Ward

    Yes, I was referring to Bono. In particular, although I am probably a bit overly cynical, I tend to question the motives of his humanitarian work.

  • oz

    Joe: What do you mean "There is just something about him that in no way communicates sincerity." - referring to Bono?

  • Joe Ward

    In the music industry, your stay at the top certainly can be a short one. This does not necessarily pertain only to “one hit wonders”. What about those who stay near the top of the charts (or the media) for 3-4 albums and then fade? Isn't the typical approach for them to re-invent themselves in order to salvage their careers?

    Perhaps "Diddy" has in fact discovered a very highly effective method of bucking the trend. That is, he re-invents himself before his popularity fades. This way, he can establish a fresh new celebrity image and make headlines, without looking like he did it out of necessity or desperation.

    I certainly prefer his methodology to that of U2's Bono - There is just something about him that in no way communicates sincerity.

  • mat

    I would rather see him making headlines changing his name than out shooting up a club someplace.

    We all should care... this is a man in the top of his game, making 100's millions a dollars per year because of a name he changes like the wind... but people follow. We can learn a lot from him. And no, he was never in the ghetto. Like many rappers, he is well-educated, and came from a good home.

    Some rappers just like to act a darn fool, they get "caught up" in trying to be what they are rapping about.... And a small percentage really are ghetto and make the headlines in a real way.

    Anyway, yes, we should care and look to see who he has hired for his marketing and branding...

  • Lawrence Standifer Stevens

    I'm sure THIS will stir the pot. . . .

    but when you're famous for nothing more than being famous, changing your name - if that's what you call it - to make manufactured headlines for media that will put ANYTHING on the air or in print, is probably the only strategy that will keep you in those headlines.

    And. . . referring to an earlier comment. . . there can be no dissing where there is no respect.

  • jinjee

    Everybody loves a story. Puffy's life is like a story. What's your story? Mine's online where my story has also become my business. Life is a story. That's what its all about. That's branding.

  • Paul

    That hit the nail on the head. While Eminem is taking time out Combs is getting back in the spotlight http://www.celebritywonder.com...
    Check him out yourselves not bad for a boy out of the ghetto or was it Business school? Who really gives a **** what he calls himself but don't dis the guy he is a mega successful business man.

  • chris

    Who knows what he'll come up with next. But Diddy and J-Lo know how to keep their name fresh, that's for sure.

  • Rex Hammock

    I'm guessing he'll go with merely "Combs" next, or, perhaps with an interim "Dy Combs" thrown in. After that, he'll go with an exotic symbol and be called, the artist formerly known as "Combs." And then he'll change his name to Nike.

  • Shallen Paul

    As far as headlines i think depending on which press or media oputlets, itis quite effective, in terms of marketing that remains to be seen...