How A Kid From Texas Became The Face Of The Biggest Company In The World
With the rise of social media, the concept of a celebrity has changed significantly. Larger-than-life celebrities like Madonna, Britney Spears and Michael Jordan are almost non-existent in the internet age.
The days of celebrities being one-trick-ponies are behind us. We almost never see a celebrity with their own signature meal at a major fast-food chain or a signature shoe. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines how Travis Scott, arguably the world's biggest influencer and marketer, has become a superstar in a modern world saturated with blue check marks.
A Household Name
The concept of a household name has faded away over the years, mainly because of how the internet and social media have made it easier to have a large following. There are people with millions of fans and online followers that you have never even heard of. Just a few years ago, that did not exist. It was difficult to discover new and obscure musicians or actors because there were fewer ways to consume media.
Now that that has changed, the tables have turned and finding a world-famous superstar is rare. However, Travis Scott managed to come from modest beginnings and become one of the few people whose name is known by millions across the world, and brands knew they had to capitalize on that. Suddenly, at the age of 28, the rapper became the face of McDonald’s, Nike, and PlayStation, as well as becooming synonymous with the popular video game “Fortnite”.
Just Do It
In 2017, the rapper began collaborating with Nike and releasing custom shoes. In the years since then, the rapper has released numerous other shoes with the company and has been the face of streetwear and “hypebeast” fashion trends. The artist’s Nike apparel, which is part of his original Cactus Jack clothing line, can resell on websites such as Goat and StockX for ten times their retail value. The rapper’s name being attached to the relatively standard shoes elevates the price and the demand. One of the only rappers that has been able to do this is Kanye West, who has been a household name for almost 20 years.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
Being on a cereal box is probably one the biggest indicators that you are a superstar and not just an average celebrity. Cereal boxes are usually reserved for athletes like John Cena or Shaquille O'Neal; it is quite rare that entertainers have their pictures on cereal boxes. Travis Scott is the exception. In 2019, General Mills released a limited series Reese’s Puffs with pictures of Travis Scott on the box. The campaign was a massive success. People bought Reese’s Puffs boxes in bulk and online orders sold out within thirty seconds. And just like every other Travis Scott collaboration, there are 4 dollar boxes of cereal being sold for insanely high prices on the internet. Only someone as famous as Travis Scott can turn an unhealthy breakfast cereal into a collector’s item.
In April of 2020, the video game, Fortnite, hosted a virtual in-game Travis Scott concert. The event was quite creative: a giant Travis Scott performed his biggest hits and debuted a new song while accompanied by psychedelic visuals. The event had five iterations, and more than 27 million people attended (and 12 million people logged into the game for the first time to catch the virtual concert)! These were record breaking numbers for video game event attendance - which is a fairly new idea, made popular due to the pandemic.
In addition to the event, Travis Scott also got his own celebrity Fortnite skin, which would allow players to play as the rapper (in his signature Nike shoes, of course) for $15. If being a playable character in a popular video game is not peak superstardom, I don't know what is.
Play Has No Limits
One of the strangest celebrity brand deals has to be the three-way collaboration between Travis Scott, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nike. In November 2020, it was announced that the rapper would be releasing a Nike shoe with Sony and Cactus Jack branding on it. You may be wondering who would wear such a thing but, as with most things attached to Travis Scott, a lot of people are interested. Additionally, the shoes were only available to five winners of a giveaway, which makes them extremely exclusive and highly coveted. A pair of the shoes is now being sold on StockX for the (very affordable) price of $42,000 as of March 2021).
I'm Lovin' It
In 2020, McDonald’s announced that they would be partnering with Travis Scott and releasing a limited time signature meal. The collaboration trended on social media for weeks and was particularly popular on TikTok, where people would record themselves ordering the Travis Scott meal at a McDonald’s drive-thru by playing one of the rapper’s songs on full blast through their car speakers. The meal was extremely commercially successful as well and many McDonald’s locations ran out of Travis Scott meals the day it was released. Additionally, posters promoting the product and McDonald’s apparel with Travis Scott branding were reselling on StockX for hundreds of dollars.
For fast food chains, especially McDonald’s, utilizing celebrity partnerships in this way is quite rare. One of the only other times the company partnered with a celebrity the way they did with Travis Scott was in the 1990s when they partnered with Michael Jordan. Jordan was a larger-than-life celebrity and famous around the globe. The fact that Jordan and Travis Scott are two of the three celebrities to have a signature meal at McDonald’s is quite indicative of the level of their fame.
“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man”
“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man” is a Jay-Z lyric that perfectly describes Scott’s current situation. With all of the lucrative brand deals that the artist has been a part of, it is safe to say that he is most definitely a businessman. However, at this point in his career, he has transcended that label. Travis Scott has become a brand. Putting Scott's name on a $20 t-shirt or putting the Cactus Jack logo on a $100 pair of Nikes is the new equivalent of adding a Louis Vuitton or Gucci logo to a product. Attaching Travis Scott to something can almost guarantee that it will sell out.
To be a superstar in a world that has an excess of celebrities, you have to be more than a celebrity. You have to be larger than life. You need to be more than a person; you need to be a brand. To be a superstar today, you need to be Travis Scott.
Want To Learn More About Influencer Marketing?
If you enjoyed learning about how brands have capitalized off of Travis Scott's success, make you sure to check out our other articles on celebrity partnerships:
- How Kylie Jenner Stole Christmas
- Travis Scott’s Top Brand Partnerships
- A Deep Dive Into Travis Scott’s Multi-Layered Partnership With McDonald’s
- The Power of Artist Collaborations With Footwear Brands for Sneakerheads
- Implementing Efficient Influencer Marketing Strategies for Your Brand
The first step in getting a partnership with a celebrity like Travis Scott, is getting noticed by a celebrity. If you would like to learn more about how to get your brand noticed by a celebrity, Hollywood Branded is here to help.