Labor Day weekend has officially been renamed Luda weekend in Atlanta. The triple threat rapper, actor and philanthropist has created an experience that encourages other celebrities and influencers to give back on a major scale. The weekend hosts multiple opportunities for pomp and circumstance, including red carpet panache, great celeb photo ops, and most importantly, checks are signed over to some worthwhile charities and causes. Chris Bridges, aka Ludacris, has earned a level of respect from his peers and colleagues that feeds over to his events. It’s a key indicator that he is a member of Hollywood’s elite A-list talent.
One of my rules when dealing with celebrity clients is that they must have something they believe in besides their own projects. Every single client I’ve ever worked with I’ve sat down and spoken with about giving back and giving a voice to a worthy cause. We coach our clients in selling albums, movies, products etc. but we also coach them in relating to the consumer, i.e. their fans. Because there is a skewed relationship between celebs and their fans, we can get away with doing very little to balance out the relationship but even in demi god status, fans seek something on the receiving end from their beloved celebrities. You must be known for something more than simply selling stuff to other people. Eventually, the scales will align themselves and fans, not to mention the tax man, will pose that age old question, “What have you done for me lately?”
A celebrity’s ability to rally the support of other relevant talent and to get them to participate in charity functions is a direct correlation to their brand and their impact to the industry. Luda Day weekend welcomed Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Chris Brown, Usher, Omari Harwick, Omarion and a host of others. In my opinion, the only redeeming factor in celebrity is the fact that the influence one has is enough to impact a number of people which has the ability to effect change. If I want to speak to a group of females and encourage them to look inward to establish a sense of self, that message could fall on deaf ears. If my client Chilli from TLC shares the same information, it will be received and shared by thousands; therefore, her influence her celebrity yields has value. Imagine the positive impact that could be made if more celebrities used their influence for good. Kudos to Ludacris for hosting such a successful standing event and for having the ability to bring out more of black Hollywood’s A-list talent to help him promote giving back. The impacts his charitable investments have made will go much further than one of his biggest hits although mainstream media won’t promote it the same way.