50 Cent, Glaceau forge unique bond

ByABC News
December 17, 2007, 7:04 PM

NEW YORK -- Curtis Jackson, the Queens-born rapper who goes by 50 Cent, has made his name with such rap hits as In Da Club, as well as a hip-hop product empire including ring tones, movies, a video game, sneakers, apparel, music publishing and his own recording label.

But Jackson, 32, is also known for enthusiastic promotion of a product less associated with hip-hop: Glacéau VitaminWater. Beyond ads, he's also mentioned it in songs and put it in music videos.

The relationship began when privately held Glacéau, founded in 1996, saw Jackson pose with a bottle in a print ad for Reebok, another endorsement, and learned he's a fan. In 2004, Glacéau offered him a minority stake to pitch VitaminWater.

He's done print ads and promotions, and now is in the first national TV ad. In it, he leads a "National Symphony" orchestra in a classical arrangement of In Da Club from his CD Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

Jackson even helped develop his own VitaminWater grape-flavored, vitamin-enriched Formula 50.

Jackson, who's got a new album due Sept. 11, on the marketing of 50 Cent and Glacéau:

Q:Glacéau recruited you because they saw that you drank their water. How did you discover it?

A: I came across it in a gym in Los Angeles.

Q:You even recently closed a song at the BET Awards singing, "VitaminWater, VitaminWater." Why so pumped up?

A: I wouldn't be a part of it if it wasn't part of my lifestyle. I travel a lot, so I'm health conscious, but I get tired of drinking so much water. It's perfect for me they do such a good job making water taste good.

Q: Does drinking the water make you more credible?

A: Consumers watch us on the red carpet. They see jewelry, and they know it's going right back (to the jeweler who loaned it). It's not real. If it's part of your lifestyle, they have a stronger passion.