Jay-Z and HP, Beyonce and Samsung: Meet the Man Who Pairs Celebs With Brands


'Why Would Tiger Woods Be Driving a Buick?'

Celebrities have helped sell goods and services for decades, but, Stoute said, consumers are wise to the superficial, inauthentic sales pitch.

"It used to be, 'We'll give you $5 million to hold a product like this," Stoute said. "But if you hold it like this, we'll give you $10 [million].' That doesn't work; that's not real.

"If you don't believe the artist uses the product, and they're just there to pick up a check," the pitch is not believable, Stoute said. "I always refer to Tiger Woods and Buick. That is a very clear example of somebody who makes a lot of money every year. Why would that person be driving a Buick? Why? Why would you believe that?"

The new breed of celebrity pitchman, according to Stoute, is "real" -- and that very realness is more valuable than an easy payday.

"The real guys aren't just going to take a check," he said. "The real artists won't just work with anyone. ... They have too much credibility."

Sean "Diddy" Combs -- who knows a few things about mixing hip-hop with pop culture and business -- said, "[Stoute] was the one that for us was the dealmaker. We all need that dealmaker, the guy that brings the two worlds together. He didn't just make the deal, he helped to empower hip hop. He didn't sell out."

Suddenly, Justin Bieber was performing with Usher, and Linkin Park and Jay-Z were onstage together -- all playing to an audience of young people of all colors.

"Hip-hop created a culture," Stoute said. "And the culture that it created brought everybody together. ... Didn't make a difference if you were African American, Caucasian -- you understood the notion of coming from something and wanting something. That aspiration of what that is was what hip-hop culture stood for, for this generation."

Stoute went even further, arguing that this diverse hip-hop culture had "done more for racial relations than anything since Martin Luther King."

Arianna Huffington, a friend of Stoute's, agreed hip-hop's musical melting pot had helped, but said it's not the whole picture.

"It is a split-screen world," Huffington said. "I don't think we can be ignorant of the other realities that are going on. Over 40 percent of African-American young people being out of work. We cannot pretend that hip-hop will make that go away. We cannot pretend that having disproportionate amount of African American men in jail is going to disappear. But it's also something we can celebrate in the coming together of these two worlds, while at the same time we bring a greater sense of urgency at the resegregation of America."

Watch the full story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m./10:35 p.m. CT.

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