Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter and Beyoncé Knowles are regularly seen with champagne in the most curious places. For years, you could bet that the iconic Cristal brand was filling their glasses. But their organic love for this premium drink quickly fell apart after an unfortunate interview. This led Jay-Z to put all his weight behind a completely different brand. And he brought with him the high end of the entire pop culture spectrum, including actors like Gal Gadot.
Jay-Z raised Cristal to the top of pop culture
The sudden increase in the profile of Armand de Brignac – also known as “As of Spades” champagne – dates back to a large-scale mistake in the world of luxury drinks. Crystal, once ubiquitous in music videos, TV shows, and movies, has become strongly associated with the hip-hop community. But in a 2006 Economist interview with an executive at Cristal, the company’s official line was “we can’t stop people from buying it” – the implication being that it was not their preferred clientele.
Jay-Z, who built his profile in the music business through RocNation, chose to get revenge instead of just getting angry. The escaped de Cristal became the massive gain of Armand de Brignac. The rapper and business mogul has devoted his weight and investments to the “As of Spades”. Crystal practically disappeared from pop culture spaces overnight.
Champagne Armand de Brignac was featured in the film “Red Notice” by Gal Gadot
Jay-Z and Beyoncé have proven that associations within hip-hop can easily lead to brand elevation through all media. The pair set out to build awareness of the once minor champagne brand from all corners of the world at once. Their famous and awesome gifts to famous friends – good enough to have Reese Witherspoon still talking about years later – tend to include cases of Armand de Brignac’s best.
The brand ended up in product placement spots in films. In the 2021 Netflix movie Red Notice, a scene where the script calls for a famous luxury champagne, the choice to drop the name felt quite natural. Movies like the ones from 2018 At the sea, comedy 2019 What men want, and the horror sci-fi mashup Prometheus in 2012 also leveraged the brand. At this point, seeing this bottle with that iconic Ace of Spades emblazoned on the front acts as a visual shortcut for wealth.
For Jay-Z and Beyoncé, wealth is certainly a key word. CNN reports having sold 50% of its stake in Armand de Brignac to the luxury house LVMH. The $ 640 million sale brings the power torque net worth to around $ 1.9 billion. This works well for the brand, which now harnesses both celebrity-powered marketing and LVMH’s substantial experience in traditional luxury branding.
Music videos remain Armand de Brignac’s main marketing platform
With Jay-Z more focused on the bread and butter of product placement with Armand de Brignac, his approach to music videos should be more prevalent than ever. It all started with her music video from 2006 Show me what you got. And the pace was relentless from there, Sixth page reports.
When Jay is making a feature film, he tends to nod his head in the direction of his mark. An example? A sample he did on a Meek Mill track in 2018: “I’m 50% D’Ussé and it’s debt free, 100% Ace of Spades, which is worth a half B. Turns out what some may have read as exaggerated bragging rights was actually a drop of around $ 140 million when all is said and done.
Music Videos for Machine Gun Kelly, Nicki Minaj, Ciara, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Lopez feature the iconic “Ace of Spades” bottles. With more movies and TV appearances undoubtedly in the pipeline, the Crystal Slippage seems costlier by the day.
RELATED: Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten’s champagne cocktails recipes make any occasion elegant and special