Brands & Merch Howdy Partner

Howdy Partner #6: It’s not all soft drinks and mint-sweetened milk, you know

By | Published on Wednesday 24 April 2013

Nicole Scherzinger

Well, it’s been quite an exciting time in the world of music and brands over the last few weeks. This month the two biggest soft drink brands in the world went head to head with new videos featuring a couple of pretty popular popstars. I’m talking about Beyonce for Pepsi and Taylor Swift for Diet Coke.

Beyonce came first, throwing a six second teaser video on YouTube. This, most people agreed, meant that Beyonce would soon be releasing the video for her long awaited new single. Except Sony Music Ireland then accidentally let slip that it was a new Pepsi TV advert being teased. But there could still be a new song in there too, right? And they’d probably stick that song up on iTunes at the same time, yeah? And probably announce the release date of the new album to top things off nicely, surely? How exciting!

When it came to it, the video did indeed feature Beyonce’s new single, ‘Grown Woman’. Well, a small portion of it. The Pepsi promo was really only a teaser itself for Mrs Carter’s new track. Which basically meant she initially put out a teaser for a teaser. No wonder the first one had to be six seconds long. The single was made available on iTunes though, right? No. And should you want to know the actual release date for the track, well that’s listed in the same place as the album release date. Good luck finding that.

Taylor Swift’s TV ad for Diet Coke (a drink that “just gets” her, remember) was less traumatic. It arrived online with little fanfare, and contained no new music. It was just an advert featuring a famous person. Just a fun advert, showing how Diet Coke helps Swift to write songs, and in turn helps people to have fun and enjoyable lives through those songs. That said, the main thing we took away from the Coke spot was the weird way Swift holds a pencil while she’s writing.

With all the key soft drink promoting opportunities currently being hogged by Beyonce and Taylor, Nicole Scherzinger was forced to look elsewhere for her brand dollar. Luckily, she happened upon something much more classy. Because Müller, despite surely already being at the upper end of the ‘yoghurts the company couldn’t even be bothered to finish making’ market (seriously, I have to put the fruit in myself AND pay extra for the privilege?), is now moving the ceiling even higher with a new ‘de Luxe’ range.

Only dead posh people spell deluxe as two words, and only super swanky people can be seen eating champagne, coconut, praline and after dinner mint-sweetened milk flavoured yoghurts. I don’t even know what mint-sweetened milk is. But then, I’m not a ‘foodie’ like Nicole Scherzinger.

She explains to philistines like you and I: “I’m a foodie and I love desserts; so working with Müller de Luxe Corner has been a lot of fun. The creamy coconut flavour is my favourite, but they’re all so Müllerlicious!”

See, I bet you didn’t know the word “Müllerlicious” either, did you? That’s because you’re not a foodie.

As we’ve seen time and time again, when artists and brands come together, everything is Müllerlicious and everyone just gets each other. The fact money changes hands is just a happy coincidence, really it’s all about the good times to be had when pop stars and marketing executives hang together. Perfect.

Just like Paul Stoneham, CEO of hair straightener manufacturer GHD, said back when his company hired that Katy Perry as its ‘ambassador’ in Europe back in 2011. “Katy” he declared, “completely embodies GHD’s spirit of female transformation and empowerment, as she is recognised as a cutting edge style icon unafraid to push fashion and beauty boundaries. Sassy, stylish and sexy, Katy is the perfect partner for GHD”.

The feeling was mutual, Perry herself said: “I’m so excited to be working with GHD, especially using their tools on my California Dreams Tour to get me stage ready. GHD products have a reputation of being the best products in the biz, and I like being associated with that”.

Oh such happiness all round. What could go wrong? Well, that’s now a matter for the courts. As that original alliance reached its completion late last year Team Perry and GHD marketing bosses began negotiating an extension of the partnership. Perry, presumably, was keen to continue using GHD’s “tools” while touring. Though now there’s a dispute over whether or not those talks concluded in a deal being done, she seems strangely more interested in the $6.5 million she was promised.

Basically Perry’s reps reckon a new deal was done, GHD says not. And both sides have now gone legal, with the hair company claiming in its lawsuit that talks were called off after customer research revealed Perry wasn’t as popular in Europe as had been previously believed. Or, to amend slightly a quote straight out of the original press release for the partnership, “Katy is [not] the epitome of modern fashion and styling. Her unique, ever changing looks are [not] the envy of style devotees around the world”.

So, there you go, the natural thrill of sipping a cola beverage or spooning up some
mint-sweetened milk might be joyful for the now, but once those pesky lawyers get involved, suddenly it is all about the money.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | | |