They’re calling it a partnership. When did spokesperson become a bad word?

This is Beyonce for H&M. They say she had a hand in the design of the pieces in the campaign, inspired by her “individual style”. Sure. And the advertisements, soon to be staring at you in the face while you commute, will read:

"Beyoncé as Mrs Carter in H&M"

Look, putting aside how you feel about her and how tired you are of choking on her ego, let’s examine this from a brand marketing perspective because it’s quite intriguing. H&M, the money, the resources, the corporation behind these clothes, seems to be taking second position here. Mrs Carter and her tour are in first place. And, as a courtesy, she’s, you know, just telling us what she’s wearing, like it’s a supporting detail, almost superfluous, and not ENTIRELY THE POINT of the commercial. This is not a commercial for The Mrs Carter Show. This is a commercial for H&M Clothing. Is that the primary message that’s being communicated?

Here is Beyonce’s business acumen at work. Most celebrities, when they align themselves to a label, become puppets. Sit here, smile there, pose like that, say this. And we’ll edit and distribute as we like, just sit back and wait for the cheque. Beyonce takes all the cheques, and seems to be dictating to them on her terms.

Now, the brand may have agreed to it. They may even have suggested it. Whatever the origin though, Beyonce’s being presented in the power position. Is this simply a reflection of the actual situation, an authentic sales pitch, if that exists? Or has it been tailored this way because we respond more to an “empowerment” message, even if it’s only on the surface? Is the old endorsement model -- celebrity reads canned script -- no longer effective because we now demand from celebrities the illusion that they have to be skilled decision makers?

More and more of the bigger stars are pushing “partnership” -- the new magic word -- as opposed to straight up endorsement. But isn’t it just a fancy way of saying straight up endorsement?