Jan. 24, 2007 — -- In the booming energy drink business, one newcomer promises to assist clear the violet haze about your brain: "Liquid Experience" will lug the iconic picture of Jimi Hendrix, who passed away of a drug overdose ~ a short-lived, rock-studded career.

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The non-alcoholic drink -- developed by New-Zealand based Beverage Concepts and due to hit the industry in April -- is simply one that many products from cars to baby apparel that space capitalizing on the star power of aging or dead rockers.


Celebrity and estate sales accounted for $3.5 billion in licensing ventures in the U.S. And Canada this year, according to licensing Letter, a pointer sheet that offers industry data for executives.

"Celebrities and estates are acquiring stronger -- it"s not simply dead rock stars," stated publisher Ira Mayer, a infant boomer who says he watched Hendrix"s last performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" in 1970. "We all have actually our very own audiences and emotional connections."

Though Hendrix doesn"t do Forbes magazine"s Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, Hendrix"s estate still made $6 million in 2004. The wealthiest dead rock star is cut Cobain, with an yearly income the $50 million, complied with by Elvis Presley, john Lennon, ray Charles, Johnny Cash, George Harrison and also Bob Marley.

Healthy Drink, Unhealthy Lifestyle

To part rock aficionados, the article of "Liquid Experience" is paradoxical -- one ostensibly healthy and balanced vitamin-imbued drink tied come a raucous etc player that suffocated to fatality from a barbituate overdose at the age of 27.

And plenty of who host Jimi Hendrix in musical surfacetoairnewyork.comd-like standing say his photo as to be poisoned. Flea, bassist because that the Red hot Chili Peppers, called the associated Press that the biggest guitar player of all time had been "cheapened" by advertising venture.


But the Hendrix family members defends the Liquid endure deal.

Janie Hendrix, Jimi"s sister, who is CEO the the family"s Seattle-based company, claimed Beverage concepts agreed come give ago a percentage of sales to education and also music-related charities and also to medicine rehabilitation programs. They likewise hope come sponsor a etc competition because that young people.

"Jimi to be a substantial inspiration to people," stated Hendrix of she brother, who wrote 110 song durings his tragically short career. In the 1990s, ~ a series of lawsuits, the household gained regulate of his music. "He transcended generation, color, sex and race, and also that legacy continues to last."

Bob Merlis, publicist for the Hendrix Experience, states the drink transaction is not out that bounds."I don"t think it"s egregious," that says, "It"s a conventional grocery product, no arsenic. The sector for his music is growing younger and also younger."

Rock tho Rocks

Jimi Hendrix and other celebrity rock stars are effective advertising tools in a new era that cross-generational marketing, once age way less than lifestyle. .

In tv commercials, Led Zeppelin is background music because that a Cadillac commercial. The Who, The rojo Stones, Bono and also John Mellencamp shill because that cars, insurance money companies, iPods and also trucks. Target"s latest advertisement campaign functions the Beatles" "Hello, surfacetoairnewyork.comodbye."

This type of proclaiming appeals to both young and old and is a new shift in marketing, according to Matt Thornhill that The Boomer Market, a firm that advises the marketing sector on how to with the 77 million consumer born between 1948 and 1960. "This is the generation that has been the timeless target the product marketing: the 18 to 34-year-old group. But half of those consumers have actually now aged out of that demographic -- yet refuse to think they are getting old," that said.

As a result, suppliers redefined your strategies. Period doesn"t matter in today"s marketing -- it"s life styles.

"I don"t know why they would affix an energy drink to a dead rock and also roll guy," joked Thornhill.

Still, Thornhill look at the genius in the Liquid experience marketing campaign: expanding a product"s with by appealing to 20-somethings, yet designing it because that the boomers.

"It"s a perfect marketing tool and also has the ideal potential to straddle two generations," Thornhill said. "Using one aging rocker is the best way to attention the baby boomers."

surfacetoairnewyork.comod for a Gag Gift

But some in Generation Y are more skeptical around the very nice of "Liquid Experience."

"When I check out these ads, ns think, "Please don"t ruin the image for me,"" stated Amanda Schupak, 25 and a youth scene reporter because that Forbes magazine. She listens to both the rolling Stones and the new indie rock band Cursive. "The classic artists have actually idol status," she says.

Still, she understands the strength of marketing. "It"s tough to argue as soon as some stars room able to make much more money native the dig than many are making if they"re alive."

Would she buy fluid Experience? "I might just once and give the away together a gag gift," Schupak said.

Blender.com editor Mike Errico"s digital music magazine caters come 26-35 year olds v a "snarky attitude." He states he is excited the he will be attending a concert through Bob Seger -- a 1980s absent star whose song "Like a Rock" is featured in Chevrolet commercials.

Blender readers space still in awe of standard rock. Errico says, "It was a much various music industry then, through fewer choices, and also these absent stars to be able to do a deeper impression. Hendrix to be pre-Internet, pre-MTV and also pre FM radio in some instances -- girlfriend didn"t have an iPod, you had a document collection, and in state of number of songs, it was vastly smaller."

The grand-scale life of the legendary rock stars to be elevated to cult status, and brand-new bands have actually continually tried come emulate the sheer strength of the 1970s rock culture.

"It"s favor evolutionary biology," stated Errico. "Business savvy music equipments are in awe of as soon as the dinosaurs ran the earth. Today"s bands do music in your apartments and garages. None have the large studios of Led Zeppelin and also Pink Floyd, whereby they were blowing drugs and money out of the air vents."

The danger, claimed Errico, is that the star is mental for all eternity through the product the endorses. Walk anyone treatment that George Forman, who currently sells food preparation grills, had a boxing career?

Neal Ferrazzani, a 28-year-old web developer native Los Angeles, who used to occupational as a major-label record engineer, has actually listened come early standard rock all his life. However he look at hypocrisy in marketing come his generation.

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"Those room my music heroes," stated Ferrazzani,. "I"m not sick of hear the bands, yet I"m noble of seeing them on TV. The day ns hear Nirvana as soon as Courtney Love is hard up for cash, it"s surfacetoairnewyork.coming to death me."

Hearing today"s indie band Postal service hawking because that UPS doesn"t violation him. Yet when that heard Led Zepplin ~ above a Cadillac ad, that turned turn off the channel. "My heart sunk," that said.

"The "60s generation was anti-establishment, and also they offered us a lot," stated Ferrazzani. "We grew up v their music and also thought they to be a pretty cool generation. However now castle chew themselves up and spit themselves out. They have lost your souls in the process."