If you’re a rising hip-hop star trying to get a free car, the Wall Street Journal has good news and bad news for you today. On the one hand, Lincoln is getting out of the rap game:
In recent years, when auto companies have sought to make their products cool, they have turned to hip-hop stars. Chrysler, for example, had Snoop Dogg, and before that it dropped singer Celine Dion in favor of hip-hop star Missy Elliott.
Lincoln hooked up with hip-hop star Kanye West, who featured two Lincoln vehicles in his music video, “Drive Slow,” and the company hosted his Grammy party last year. But Lincoln says its relationship with Mr. West has ended, and it is now focused on its partnership with [couture wedding gown designer Amsale Aberra] and other initiatives to make Lincoln an “approachable” brand.
But if you want to ride with Buick, they’re looking for takers:
To learn more about what Buick can do to appeal to the young, urban and mostly black men who hold so much sway over popular tastes these days, Buick hosted an “Urban Media Roundtable” in Atlanta last June, bringing together about a dozen journalists, most of them African-American, from publications from hip-hop magazine XXL to luxury lifestyle Web site eCityofStyle.com. The goal was “trying to understand the pacemakers and what they think is hot,” says David Darovitz, Buick’s manager of communications, as well as figure out how to market new Buicks to them…
One of the first tests of Buick’s new strategy came in November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas, the largest car customization and accessory show in the U.S. As the hip-hop-hybrid music of violin-playing duo Nuttin’ But Stringz played to the crowd, Buick lifted the veil on 11 Lucernes tricked out by 10 customizers and Rides magazine.
So what is it, WSJ? Is this boom or bust for wheels-wishing rappers? We have two members of the Lox on the line, and they’re interested in knowing what they have to do to get a free Lucerne. Very interested.