Eminem ads are high octane. Though the infamous rapper may not be elegant or eloquent like your typical celebrity, his ads always pack a punch you can roll with.
Just recently, the Grammy Awards Show featured his song Berzerk in an ad to hype its upcoming 56th annual show to be aired on January 26, 2014. In the ad, the rocking beat provides an energized audio backdrop while eye- catching clips of various artists from Elvis Presley to Cee Lo Green play. Even though Eminem’s latest single is featured, Berzerk nor the rest of his album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 will be eligible for nominations this year since the album released on Nov. 5 – after the official cutoff date of Sept. 30, 2013. In the meantime, the album sits pretty atop Billboard’s album chart.
The Grammys are not the only ones taking advantage of Berzerk and its attention-grabbing groove. The video itself resembles that of Beastie Boys’ So What’cha Want. Eminem’s “rap and roll” fusion of rock and rap is as smooth as it is seamless, and it also turns out to be a great tribute to a band he idolizes. The song made its grand debut in an ad for #NewBeatsStudio headphones. Using clips from his official video, the ad aired for the first time during the MTV VMAs and served as a surprise announcement for the album finally divulging details like its title, release date, and executive producers Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre.
“Keeping that a secret was a modern miracle,” says Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg. Though the secret meant saying no to partners, he added, “but we really believe in the element of surprise. That we were able to give people all of that information in a 15-second spot like that really helped us make a big splash.”
Superbowl spots, however, are probably where Eminem ads have had their largest audience. He has two Superbowl ads to his credit. His Superbowl 2011 Chrysler spot “Imported from Detroit” ran two minutes long and had the feel of a feature film. Though Eminem is seen driving the Chrysler 200 in the commercial, the vehicle hardly seems like the focal point of the ad. Rather, the gravitas of the narrator paired with Eminem’s Lose Yourself soundtrack forces the audience to think about Detroit and its ailing industry as a symbol of the American spirit. The ad’s message is so powerful that it does not feel like a commercial at all. Of all the Eminem ads, this one is probably amongst the most significant and has over 16 million views on YouTube today.
His other Superbowl spot was for Lipton Brisk Tea. He was featured as himself in claymation in the $1 million ad. It plays on his “rough guy” attitude in which he talks about why he does not do commercials. At the end of the 30-second spot, he demands to change the name of the drink to “Eminem-shut-up-and-drink-it.” It is a funny ad, poking fun at Eminem’s reputation for being hot-headed and unreasonable.
Like in other Eminem ads, “Call of Duty” reaches out to a younger demographic. Enthusiasts of “Call of Duty”are like the center of a Venn diagram representing Eminem fans and hardcore gamers. There is a definite overlap between the two, and both parties have taken advantage. Survival from Eminem’s latest album made its world premiere in August for a “Call of Duty” event before the album details were formally announced with the Berzerk premiere in the #NewBeatsStudio ad.
The Survival video is financed by Activision, video game producer of “Call of Duty” and contains footage of “Call of Duty: Ghosts” in the background. In the video, Eminem is seen donning the game’s iconic ghost mask as he raps about “Do or Die.” His lyrics about about liking the sight of his own blood may likely resonate with these gamers.
While Eminem may not have as many ads as Taylor Swift, his music and rap style command attention. Moreover, Eminem ads have employed novel ways of marketing that make the “Rap God” look like an “Ad God.”
By Fatema Biviji