Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy or Sean Combs, fans of the US hip-hopper may not know what to call him and now they don’t even know what to order in a club. Talk about confused brand and hair extensions. Back in 2005 Diddy was telling people not to send him Cristal Champagne (imported into SA by wine impresario Michael Fridjhon) in a refusal of freebees a winehack like Mr. Min would never be convicted of.
“I don’t drink Cristal anymore. I haven’t drank it in four years. You could out that out there so the people stop sending it to me. It’s another myth, like the one that I wear white fur coats all day. I like authentic smooth Russian vodka and quality tequilas. I’m trying to learn about fine wines. As you get a little more mature, you realise that the wine game is ultra sexy; the wine experience is definitely one of the sexiest experiences going.”
So six years on, you’d expect Diddy to rival Tariro Masayiti, new red wine superstar at KWV, in his devotion to Bacchus. Yet the Diddler told The Independent “What I sell, to be honest, I sell lifestyle. I sell entertainment. It all falls under one umbrella, one mindset. I’m not just like some green motherfucker that’s just doing things to make money… Everything I sell is associated with part of my lifestyle.” Like vodka: “I’ve never drunk beer, wine, never drunk whisky. Vodka is what I’ve drunk all my life. So my heart and soul is in it.”
To make his point, Diddy bought so much Ciroc into the south of France, he was stopped by customs and had to leave some of it behind. Diddy cut his Ciroc deal back in 2007. As he explains “It is not an endorsement deal. This is something that will have my daily attention. Diageo realised I’m not just a celebrity endorser, I’m a brand builder. I’m a luxury brand builder.” So a bit like Jamie Foxx and Oude Meester brandy then? Although I can’t imagine brand owner Distell following Diageo and giving Jamie 50% of profits in addition to the rumoured $2 bar he was paid to advertise the spirit.