Friday, 18 November 2011
BOOK REVIEW: STEVE STOUTE-THE TANNING OF AMERICA
Seeing the light.
To say Steve Stoute is successful is a gross understatement to what this man can actually gross. This marketing genius has made a fortune of turning the fortunes of everyone from Gwen Stefani to McDonalds. This mogul has made it all look so effortless too as he shifted his tie between the music and advertising executive world, suiting and fitting in wherever he's been tailored. Now he tells his story, as well as the history of advertising and hip-hop's influence on modern culture and tastes in 'The Tanning Of America', a book that rewrites popular consensus and how things are done.
This best-seller, great-teller is a bookend of two stories. One being in autobiographical nature of Stoute's career and the development of hip-hop culture in the 'tanning of America' and the changing face of advertising and trends. While the other serves as the perfect business studies manual that would help any young entrepreneur reach their dream step by step. Look at the back of the book to see innovator Chris Gardener's co-sign amongst others (Kanye West and Russell Simmons to name a few). Endorsements don't come much better than from a stock broker that went for broke on pursuing his 'happyness' so well that Will Smith made a career movie out of it.
From telling tales of the make or break history of Coca Cola in all its bubbles to his own personal stories of sipping champagne and smoking cigars with Jay-Z, Bono and Roger Moore this book is rich with volumes of clever creative and inspiring real-life scenarios. It all started with Run DMC leading a sold out Madison Square Garden crowd to all hold up their Adidas trainers to Stoute and Justin Timberlake showing the world how much McDonald's is 'loving it'. Also amazing accounts of how N.W.A. changed and revolutionised the NFL and sports merchandising industry and how LL Cool J got smart with FUBU in a Gap commercial are also attributed.
There are so many more exceptional examples but to reveal more would be to ruin the insightful, discovery nature of this real read. You'll just have to go by the book to see just how well Steve Stoute wrote his own successful life script. Page by page, career move by career move it's clear to see Stoute, Hip-Hop and the modern day mainstream have come a long way and as cultures are brought together by this it's clear we are all the better for it. Anyone wanting the bright things in life need to shed some light on 'Tanning'. It's eye-opening and therefore truly visionary. Make sure you absorb it and take it in. Don't get left in the shade. TIM DAVID HARVEY.