Five Lessons LifeStyles Condoms Learned From The Whole 50 Cent/Taco Bell Debacle

Jul 29th, 2008 // 8 Comments

AP080725012431.jpgNow that the end of Hannah Montana might be near, LifeStyles Condoms is ready to help bring the image of its star, Miley Cyrus, into a realm that’s even more grown-up than those wet T-shirt pictures might imply; it’s offered to pay Cyrus a cool million dolalrs to become its spokesperson. “With teenage pregnancy running rampant throughout the US, LifeStyles Condoms wants to ensure that Miley Cyrus and her legions of loyal fans don’t become just more statistics. As one of the leading condom makers in the country, LifeStyles is offering Miley Cyrus $1 million to become the new company spokesperson to appeal to the younger demographic that is in need the most.” This “open letter to a potential endorser” recently worked out in a very bad way for Taco Bell, which is now being sued by 50 Cent for offering him a measly $10,000 and “requesting” that he change his name to 79 Cent in a letter they leaked to the media. But there’s been no response from the Cyrus camp yet, which one could see as a sign that Cyrus might be interested–or, at the very least, not completely insulted by the condom company’s offer. Five lessons that LifeStyles took from Taco Bell’s marketing burp, and that you might want to keep in mind should you want to follow a similar route, after the jump.

Peg your promotion to a Serious Cultural Issue, not a stupid menu change. “With teenage pregnancy running rampant throughout the US, LifeStyles Condoms wants to ensure that Miley Cyrus and her legions of loyal fans don’t become just more statistics.” You can’t tell me that doesn’t have more gravitas than being told that chalupas now only cost 99 cents.

Include the plights of other celebrities in your plea. (Note: The actors hired in your commercials don’t count.) Citing the breeding issues of the Spears ladies: Not only does it up the Google juice for your original press release, it creates a celebrity hierarchy of sorts, saying, “Look at these girls–we know you’re smarter than them, Miley! So why not prove it for our gain?”

Don’t make the offer contingent on anything stupid. 50 had to change his name and take the stage at a nearby drive-thru to collect his $10,000. Miley just has to show up at a commercial shoot and smile, maybe take a purity pledge.

Sex sells, even (especially?) to celebrities. Imagine if Taco Bell had said that the restaurant where 50 freestyled into the drive-thru would be staffed by hot ladies, and that the sauce packets would be renamed Sex Packets for the evening. Given his recent problems with the ladies, you’d think he’d jump at the chance to burnish his image as a male who’s at all attractive.

Offer a lot of money. Do you really think Curtis would have gone the litigation route if Taco Bell had added a few more zeroes to its initial $10,000 offer? Hell, he probably would have been “inspired” enough to help the Bell swing a deal to serve the Coca-Cola-owned Vitamin Water through its self-serve Pepsi fountains.

[Photo: AP]


  1. Rob Murphy

    Shouldn’t you have used the Breakout cover photo to illustrate this post?

  2. JohnDoe

    How much you want to bet Maura got this email last night?

    From: Nick
    to: Maura
    re: Traffic


  3. Maura Johnston

    @JohnDoe: Nick is not my boss. (And he’s on vacation anyway.)

  4. TheRunningboard7

    I think that “Fitty” is more easy to rhyme with than “Seventy-nine”. I think that 50′s lawsuit has more to do with writer’s block than insult.

    I think if people really wanted to sell condoms, they’d talk to people’s parents. My perfect condom spokespeople? Katy Perry’s parents, the Winehouse parents, and anyone without Hep C that’s been in a relationship with Pamela Anderson.

  5. Ahh! Jim lad!

    We would have been spared Miley Cyrus if her parents had just used a condom. So ironic. ):

  6. Al Shipley

    Let’s just hope the Miley condom ads don’t look like the Lil Wayne condom ads.

  7. Halfwit

    @Al Shipley: Wait… we’re hoping that they don’t look like the Lil Wayne ads?

    Okay, I’ll go notify my neighbors that I’ve moved into the neighborhood now.

  8. Beyonce is very much set to make number one regarding this weekend’s album charts, bumping Lady Gaga off the top place. The States singer, who headlined at Glastonbury, is selling her lp, 4, about three times as swiftly as chart rivals based on (blank) the Official Chart Update.

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