Here's one problem with revolving your entire musical identity around one luxury brand. Despite endless adulation from certain corners of the rap community, Mercedes is now retiring its ultra-premium, supremely expensive Maybach line, effective 2013. The Maybach, panned as a pompously marked-up S Class with prices in the $300,000-range, performed quite poorly against incumbents like Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
Retirement discussions first emerged last year, and car enthusiasts knew this was a dying bird. All of which makes this a funny twist in marketing: despite all the free publicity and material worship, it turns out the Maybach was only selling a few hundred units a year. This was a automobile saturated into endless rap songs, rap names, imprints, and videos, but a product that was ultimately an unreachable pin-up, not an aspirational possibility.
Especially 'in this economy...'
And maybe all that attention was working against the brand. It's a hushed topic, especially given very delicate racial waters in the US. But rap is often shunned by older, more 'refined' buyers, and hip-hop wasn't exactly reared in the refined halls of the elite. Quite the opposite: rap's embrace of its street roots is enduring, all of which makes movements like Maybach Music the perfect appropriation of upper-crust refinement. And, perhaps a turnoff to the pampered, image-conscious .001%, an elite crowd that ultimately stuck with the Rolls.
Outside of its garish opulence, perhaps there's more reason to celebrate the death of this brand. Like many oldline German companies, Maybach was an important manufacturer for the Nazi regime in World War II, particularly for tank engines. The main manufacturing facility was ultimately bombed by Allied forces, part of a broader offensive against the Nazi manufacturing base.
Voyno Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Maybe Rick Ross should have picked something that will stick around, and is full of quality... like Toyota Music.. or Honda Music...
Big Swifty Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I guess this marketing soundbyte didn't pan out
"Mercedes Maybach, the Rolls Royce of luxury automobiles!"
jw Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Watched the Baader Meinhof Complex recently, which tells the story of the Red Army Faction (I think the first time I ever heard of the RAF was on a Joe Strummer t-shirt) forming in response to a perceived fascist threat, namely remnants from the the NAZI party remaining in positions of influcence in Germany (in government, education, & commerce), even through the 1970's. Kind of makes your Maybach comment seem pretty silly... there's obviously no threat there. Would you celebrate Volkswagen going under, too?
Confused Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I'll never drive a mercedes because of the WWII connection.
Also, all I can afford is a Mitsubishi.
Visitor Thursday, September 27, 2012
Mitsubishi A6M as used in Operation AI (a.k.a. attack on Pearl Harbour, 1941)
R.P. Thursday, September 27, 2012
Confused Thursday, September 27, 2012
Just using sarcasm to make a point. Maybe I should be more literal when on-line. sorry
However, it was very clever of you to make the mitsubishi-wwii connection so fast.
Sarcasm Fail Thursday, September 27, 2012
jochen Thursday, September 27, 2012
Really , really silly comment, this last sentence of the article. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Siemens, Bosch, BASF, ... None of these companies should have success because of their history? What about the trusts they have founded to compensate the victims? Get your history facts right before you mention Nazi crimes. It's quite long ago, you know. These comments are rather hurtful.
A. Rand Thursday, September 27, 2012
Corporate entities (in the US at least) get the benefits of both worlds.
They are treated as citizens when making political decisions, yet can make morally reprehensible decisions without the repercussions a citizen would suffer.
Corporations might suffer the judgement of their peers, or consumers, however since the vast majority of their peers (other corporations in the marketplace) are amoral at best and consumers are easily sedated by convenience and low prices, they don't need to worry so much.
It is all business as usual.
@khall620 Thursday, September 27, 2012
Somewhere Rick Ross shed a single tear...
@indiehiphop Thursday, September 27, 2012
Dark day for the rap industry...
Traci Morris Thursday, September 27, 2012
Hahahaha! When I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago, I saw one pull up in an interesting area in the East Village. It sat there for a minute and then Russell Simmons got out!
Visitor Friday, September 28, 2012
What is the non-interesting part of the east village?
@misterstewart Thursday, September 27, 2012
Damn RIGHT before I can cop mine...
@NjabsButhelezi Friday, September 28, 2012
Sorry Rick Ross.