If anyone knows how to celebrate, it's Sean "Diddy" Combs. His "White Parties" in the Hamptons are legendary for both its guest list and press coverage. Beginning Oct. 8, Diddy will attempt to explain "The Art of Celebration" to the rest of us in TV ads for Ciroc Vodka.
Owned by Diageo, the ultrapremium vodka launched in 2003. However, Ciroc has failed to achieve the success of rivals Grey Goose, Ketel One and others. Enter Diddy. Last fall, the hip-hop king signed a multiyear deal that reportedly will give him half of the brand's profits. In the end it could mean as much as $100 million for the rapper.
Ciroc, which unlike most vodka is made from grapes, "started out strong, but hit a ceiling," said Arthur Shapiro, alcohol industry consultant at AM Shapiro and Associates, New York. "It was in nowhere land. It's getting a lot of attention now because of Diddy. The early signs are that the partnership is working . . . When he says drink, you drink.