American rapper Curtis Jackson A.K.A 50 CENT has recently announced his line of headphones called Sleek by 50. This was a very bold move by the popular artist, because he’s coming to the product segment, which is currently owned by fellow rapper Dr. Dre. Dr. Dre introduced his line of headphones Beats by Dr.Dre in 2008 and we could say that Dr. Dre created a new segment on the market: celebrity endorsed headphones. This is a very lucrative segment, but to succeed in it, you need to have a unique product, a very strong brand or maybe the most important ingredient: a very famous person behind the brand.
For the promotion of the brand, Dr. Dre often uses product placement in music videos, but he also convinced and influenced music stars and famous sportsmen to endorse his products. (For example: in the recent World Nordic Championship in Oslo we could see members of Austrian ski jumping team with Beats headphones right after they had won the team event.)
I expect 50 Cent to choose the similar strategy to promote his brand. In my opinion 50 cent will try to put Sleek in several high profile music videos, but product placement is only one way of promoting his brand. One of the most important communication channels that I think for Sleek by 50 will definitely be the product placement. I expect to see headphones in every 50 Cent’s videos and in all clips/TV shows with him as a guest star or featured artist. He’ll probably wear them at every public event. Product placement is unavoidable, mainly because Dr. Dre has heavily used it for promotion of Beats. I can’t wait for the release date and I’m really curious what will happen with Sleek by 50. Can 50 Cent succeed in taking away some market share from Dr. Dre? I’m sure he can, but how? We’ll see very soon.