Those of you familiar with the name Steve Stoute probably know him as either a) a former music executive and manager or b) a former music executive and manager who was allegedly attacked by a bottle-wielding Puff Daddy back in 1999. Now he’s the head of a branding and marketing company called Translation, and many of his biggest projects seem to have one common thread. Can you spot it?
…Stoute worked with Reebok, at the time a stagnant brand that needed to revamp its image. He brokered Reebok’s ad campaign with Jay-Z, whose S. Carter Collection by Rbk (Jay-Z’s real name is Shawn Carter) made Reebok a big hit on city streets… Most recently, during HP’s “The Computer Is Personal Again” campaign, Stoute once again called on Jay-Z, who helped launch ads in which the rapper is heard but his face is never seen… Stoute also connected GM with Jay-Z on Jay-Z Blue, a branded, lavender-tinted, electric blue that will be available on the GMC Yukon.
To be fair, not everything on Stoute’s résumé is so Hova-centric–he helped launch the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign with Justin Timberlake, and worked with Gwen Stefani on a recent digital-camera promotion. But one of his biggest selling points appears to be that he can get Jay-Z to hawk anything. Need to move more peanut butter? Jay-Z will do eight bars with Peter Pan. Fourth-quarter diaper sales low? Jay will rhyme “thuggy” with “Huggies.” Stoute’s got the hook-up!