The reality star launched a new energy drink and beat the divisive London label at its own game
Not content with dominating nearly every inch of the modern world’s cultural landscape, Kim Kardashian West (you know her, right?) has launched an assault on the sports drinks market with the release of Hype Energy, a brand she has close association with. She emerged as the face of Hype Energy this week, complete with a surreal short film that places her in a series of dreamlike sequences and offers just fleeting glimpses of the fizzy fluid itself.
The entire presentation of Hype Energy – its ambition, concept and aesthetic – is reminiscent of PC Music’s modus operandi. The divisive London collective slash label aim to unify the corporate and the celebrity through songs and video all with a cutesy aesthetic that amplifies the high-octane mania of the 21st century charts, all shorts bursts of soft synth-led energy complete with robot-love lyrics. Many commented that the sound of SOPHIE – a PC Music-affiliated producer – soundtracking a McDonald’s ad represented the label’s endgame, a song called "Lemonade" advertising the very same product. Simple saturation.
The label had warned people of their objectives in 2014. Serious hints at PC Music’s genuine, yet irony-filtered interest in infiltrating the world of sugary capitalism were offered with the "fake" artist "QT" – part popstar, part performance art. "HEY QT", a song produced by AG Cook and SOPHIE and performed by QT, promoted an "energy elixir" called DrinkQT. But the replication of a future-corporate reality didn’t stop there – DrinkQT actually got manufactured. No longer a concept, it became an IRL product.
But did Kim Kardashian et al take PC Music’s hook and look? In the above press shot she even looks as "QT" as Kim can look, all neatly tidied fringe, android stare and product placement as blatant as the parameters of photography will allow.
The promo video sits somewhere between dreamland and cold hard reality – on the one hand it’s a totally bizarre "arty" film, but then dissect the components of what’s actually happening – it’s Kim Kardashian on YouTube selling us things – it quickly becomes the most normal, 21st century piece of advertising out there.
This is everything that PC Music want to be and more, the seamless marriage of the conceptual, the corporate and the celebrity in one all-encompassing, totally understandable package. “Hey Kimmy, yeah there’s something I want to say – you look sick selling drinks and I’m gonna buy one. You had me at Hype.”
Either PC Music has entered mainstream cultural consciousness to the extent that Kim Kardashian and Hype are ripping off their concepts, or it’s a deliberate nod to what is still regarded by many as just a niche art project. A deliberate steal or not, Kim K would be, and is, the ultimate QT – PC Music should give her a call.
Watch the Hype Energy film below.