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Wiz Khalifa: Marketing Genius

2 Feb

Many people wouldn’t think of rappers as marketing gurus, but Wiz Khalifa might change that impression. The Pittsburgh-based rapper released his hit single “Black and Yellow” in September 2010. Please note the logos of Pittsburgh’s three major sports teams:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Pirates

What do the three teams have in common? Their primary colors are “Black and Yellow” “Black and Yellow” “Black and Yellow.” That, by itself, is fairly remarkable. Most cities have tremendous variation in the colors of their sports teams, but Pittsburgh bucks that trend. Khalifa’s single was released last fall and saw its popularity rise with every Steelers victory. By now, fans have adopted the hit song as the official anthem of the team (now destined for the Super Bowl). Khalifa performed the song before kickoff for the NFC championship.

“I’m sure he will be loved by Steelers fans forever,” said Dan Charvas, author of A History of Hip Hop. At the very least, “he might get paid off of this forever.”

The music video also shows marketing intelligence. It features Pittsburgh landmarks and could easily pass as a modern tourism video for the city. With this song, Khalifa cements himself as a Pittsburgh legend, while launching a mainstream career at the same time. Sounds like a pretty genius strategy to me.

PS: Green Bay released a similar colors song, called “Green and Yellow,” to support their team before the Super Bowl. This young rapper is pretty good. For Wisconsin.

Update: Rapper Lil’ Wayne has joined the Green Bay side. His version of “Green and Yellow” \”Green and Yellow\”

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