Doja Cat gives a masterclass in celebrity brand partnerships
The Future. With recent marketing partnerships with Taco Bell and JBL, Doja Cat is proving how authenticity, creative control, and risk-taking are paying off. The results may solidify for brands that the only celebrity partnership worth entering is with someone who is already passionate about its products… and is willing to bring fresh, bold ideas to the table.
According to Fast Company, Doja Cat knows how to perform for a brand.
- After tweeting about how much she missed the discontinued Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell, she became a brand ambassador and recruited Dolly Parton to star with her in a TikTok musical aptly titled Mexican Pizza: The Musical.
- Doja’s involvement not only brought the popular menu item back into circulation but made it a bestseller.
- When announcing herself as JBL’s new brand ambassador on the night of the Grammys, Doja Cat posted a TikTok of herself with a portable speaker, saying, “Jibble! Jibble! Jibble!,” and took the speaker on the red carpet.
- The exposure gave JBL two-year’s worth of social engagement in three days.
And after naming her two new puppies Malibu and Barbie, Mattel was calling the very next day… don’t be surprised if Doja pops up in the Barbie movie soundtrack next year.
The key to all this great marketing is that Doja Cat actually likes all these brands, which is why they’re connecting with her fans and casual onlookers alike. Joel Samuels, who works in Talent Ventures at Endeavor, said that Gen Z and Millennial consumers have an “ability to understand the ‘why’ behind a celebrity partnership is just as important as the product that’s being sold.” What sells is authentic enthusiasm.
That’s something that execs at Taco Bell and JBL understood when getting in business with Doja… so they just let her do her thing and influence the creative direction of the partnership because, ultimately, that’s what customers respond to. As Bill Wyman, vice president of integrated marketing for JBL, said, “we want her fans to be our fans, and the only way to do that is to let her be herself. That’s what unlocks the magic. This is the new benchmark for what partnerships need to look like, and for what partnerships can deliver.”