Rapper and business mogul Jay Z has released his new 40/40 drink in Duane Reade and Walgreens stores across the U.S. Named after his famous nightclub, the beverage is listed as retailing for $1.99 and is a sports-themed drink with an Arnold Palmer-ish flavor.
Former Def Jam exec Kevin Liles’ company Go N’Syde distributes the new beverage, and Go N’Syde has also released the Mariah Carey Butterfly beverage. 40/40 and Butterfly also features a unique bit of cross-promotion that utilizes technology that allows customers to point a smartphone at the beverage container and pull up content connected to both artists. Carey’s Butterfly targets young to middle aged women, while Jay’s 40/40 is expected to draw young sports-loving men.
“We have great tasting beverages,” Liles says. “But the second part of it is providing a new network for the brands or icons to communicate with their fans. I call it disrupting the consumer packaged goods industry by having your products actually talk to you.”
While Carey has been more active in the promotion of Butterfly, Jay prefers to tie this particular beverage to his nightclub —as opposed to himself directly. Insiders speculate that the “luxury rap” icon doesn’t want to diminish his brand and persona; which Liles says he understands.
“I understand his brand, I understand the essence of it,” Liles told Forbes. “And I understand when you can over-leverage a brand. … As far as brand recognition, D’Ussé is a different thing, and high-end champagne is a different thing. I’m doing an everyday beverage.”