The corporate world and big business has used Hip-Hop since it’s inception to drive business.
From Adidas to Honda to Pepsi, big business needs Hip-Hop’s sales.
There’s no better example of this phenomenon than Common’s most recent role as the voice of Microsoft’s “empowerment campaign.”
Microsoft loved Common’s voiceover so much, that his voice was used in the airing of was a $16 million dollar commercial spot that kicked off Super Bowl Weekend in February.
But how did it all come together? How did Common replace the CEO’s voice on a commercial?
According to GeekWire, Common reached out to Microsoft to explain why he wanted to be the voice of the brand, but the choice to use Common came from the top down as the commercial was being developed.
“I love this spot, but you’re not going to use my voice, right?” the CEO asked after seeing an early version of the commercial with his own voice.
Opting to avoid any sense of narcissism with his own voice, the CEO wanted something different and something fresh that captured the message of the Microsoft brand.
Eventually Microsoft would have Common read from CEO Satya Nadella’s speeches, breathing fresh life into the Microsoft CEO’s words.
Says Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Chris Caposella,“If you were to listen to the audiotape of Common explaining why he wanted to be the voice, it was just so spot on with the brand of Microsoft, and how excited he was to work with us.”
This isn’t the first time Common has linked up with Microsoft to bolster the brand.
When the company launched their “Softwear” clothing line, Common took on the role as spokesperson for the new gear and contributed designs drawing inspiration from the 1980’s.