On the train ride home last night, there was an ad for "BeKanye" — a miracle drug to turn YOU into Kanye West! It was a fun poster, done in the style of those cheesy supplement ads. And though it made me smile, it took me some careful examination of the small, legal text to see it is an advertisement from Absolut Vodka.
While the clever poster caught my attention, did it really do its job if I didn't connect Kanye to the Absolut company? I guess it is a branding campaign and I am supposed to go to the faux website where additional text and a commercial makes that connection to Absolut Vodka. I've knocked other companies viral efforts before and will not go down that road again, but what about the effect this has on Kanye's image and branding?
When a celebrity make a decision to use their identity in such way, there must be a realization that this may change the public's perception of them — for good or for ill. While I don't think Kanye will be damaged by this campaign, his image of being a serious musician who is socially conscious (a certain comment on live television comes to mind) may be underminded. Of course, that may the whole point...
Do you think Kanye is risking his brand in this campaign?