While Sean “Diddy” Combs topped Forbes’ 2015 list of the wealthiest figures in hip-hop — the magazine estimated his net worth at $735 million — it’s clear that the rapper/entrepreneur/fashion maven knows how to stretch a buck.
Combs, one of a trio of high-profile investors in Aquahydrate, has once again worked the alkaline water brand into a national television ad, this time for Ciroc Vodka. The ad, which promotes designated driving, comes approximately 15 months after the debut of a widely aired TV spot for Fiat, which also included placement of Aquahydrate.
Since 2007, Combs has been aligned with Ciroc owner Diageo via a strategic partnership created to expand sales and awareness of the premium vodka brand. In the new 15-second ad, titled “Here’s to the Designated Driver,” Aquahydrate is seen being consumed by one woman surrounded by others at an evening beach party, who are, presumably, drinking Ciroc vodka cocktails.
A moment before the woman takes a sip from her bottle of Aquahydrate, a voiceover intones: “Ciroc celebrates the designated driver who gets their circle home safely.” The line refers to Ciroc’s “Step Into The Circle” marketing campaign. The ad ends with another shot of the woman holding the Aquahydrate bottle, which, notably, sits directly next to a superimposed image of Ciroc.
Last year, Combs agreed to appear in a TV spot for Fiat, with the stipulation that Aquahydrate and his Revolt cable network would receive placement in the ad. At the time, Olivier Francois, the chief marketing officer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, called the deal a “triangulation of brands,” according to Billboard.com.
“Fiat could never write a check for an appearance from Diddy,” Billboard quoted Francois as saying at a music business conference. “But we are able to offer something instead. The connection. The exposure. The triangulation of brands. Is it product placement? Of course it is. It’s Diddy’s products in our ad. But it makes as much sense as water in the desert. And in return, we get something unique. Him.”
As for future partnerships involving Aquahydrate and Ciroc, Nathalie Moar, SVP and head of communications for Combs Enterprises, stated in an e-mail that “Combs Enterprises is always looking for natural and authentic ways to integrate our brands across the portfolio.”
The Ciroc ad has received 318 national airings, as of today, according to iSpot.tv, which tracks current activity of paid media. The spot has been shown during the NBA playoffs on networks ABC and NBA TV.