Back to Top

The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy

The business marketing genius at the forefront of today’s entertainment marketing revolution helps corporate America get hip to today’s new consumer-the tan generation – by learning from hip-hop and youth culture.

“He is the conduit between corporate America and rap and the streets-he speaks both languages.” -Jay-Z

“It’s amazing to see the direct impact that black music, videos and the internet have had on culture. I’ve seen so many people race to the top of pop stardom using the everyday mannerisms of the hood in a pop setting. It’s time to embrace this phenomenon because it ain’t going nowhere!” -Kanye West

When Fortune 500 companies need to reenergize or reinvent a lagging brand, they call Steve Stoute. In addition to marrying cultural icons with blue-chip marketers (Beyoncé for Tommy Hilfiger’s True Star fragrance, and Justin Timberlake for “lovin’ it” at McDonald’s), Stoute has helped identify and activate a new generation of consumers. He traces how the “tanning” phenomenon raised a generation of black, Hispanic, white, and Asian consumers who have the same “mental complexion” based on shared experiences and values. This consumer is a mindset-not a race or age-that responds to shared values and experiences, rather than the increasingly irrelevant demographic boxes that have been used to a fault by corporate America. And Stoute believes there is a language gap that must be bridged in order to engage the most powerful market force in the history of commerce.

The Tanning of America provides that very translation guide. Drawing from his company’s case studies, as well as from extensive interviews with leading figures of multiple fields, Stoute presents an insider’s view of how the transcendent power of popular culture is helping reinvigorate and revitalize the American dream. He shows how he bridges the worlds of pop culture, brand consulting, and marketing in his turnkey campaigns offers keen insight into other successful campaigns-including the election of Barack Obama-to illustrate the power of the tan generation, and how to connect with it while staying true to your core brand.

Reblogged 6 years ago from


Richard T Conley says:

A well written view of hip-hop, history, and modern culture. I picked up this book because of a recommendation from my brother. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth at which hip-hop and urban sensibilities have shaped American and westernized culture as a whole. Steve Stoute brings a level of professionalism and authenticity, coincidentally two very important topics outlined in this book, to tales of the struggles of early hip-hop and the trials of its artists to be recognized as such. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to have a fresh, unbiased…

dubs says:

Masterful This is extremely well written and you can tell Stoute is an intelligent and creative person. In depth discussions about pop culture and various marketing ventures that have affected culture over the last 20 or so years. Very informative, recommended to anyone with an interest in hip hop, pop culture or marketing.

Write a comment