Ro Spit and Campbell-Ewald “Sell Detroit”

November 25, 2009

RESIZEcampbell_large Young Jeezy made a single encouraging listeners to “put on” for their city, but Ro Spit has done so in literal terms. The sneaker boutique he co-owns, Burn Rubber, has gotten attention in lauded publications like COMPLEX magazine, and its gear is on the backs, feet and heads of national rap stars such as Mos Def, Big Sean and Clipse. “Renaissance State of Mind” (click here to listen/download), his Monica Blaire-assisted remake of Jay-Z’s hit single, has given Detroit Hip Hop fans a new self-love anthem. And along with showcasing his own talents, his new solo release The Oh S#!t Project (click here to download) serves as a who’s who of what Michigan Hip Hop has to offer. For a more detailed breakdown of Ro Spit’s career, click here to read MichiganHipHop Managing Editor William E. Ketchum III’s feature in Metro Times.

But in a contest sponsored by CNN (click here to vote), Ro has the opportunity to represent Detroit in a brand new way. Check under the cut to hear Ro briefly break down how he and ad agency Campbell-Ewald plan to infuse energy in the area’s art scene.

MIHH: What’s the purpose of the contest?
The main purpose of the contest is to choose an ad agency/campaign to represent Detroit for the purpose of bringing youth to the city through the arts. The winning campaign will be in some of the top magazines, on websites, and billboards all over. The winning agency will be in control of the overall marketing plan throughout the year.

MIHH: How did you get involved?
A customer that comes into our store, had Empire State Of Mind by Jay Z & Alicia Keys as a ringtone. So I asked him had he heard my version that I had just leaked called “Renaissance State Of Mind,” featuring Monica Blaire and produced by Dbit. He said “No,” I let him hear it, and he went crazy. I burned him a couple of copies, & he passed it along to a few friends. Just my luck, one of his friends works for Campbell-Ewald and was looking for someone to be the face of a marketing plan to bring youth to the city of Detroit through the arts. Be it music, graffiti, cinema, etc. They said I represented what they wanted in their ad campaign, and the rest is history. My submission was last minute, it was one of over 200 submissions. It jumped to the top three instantly, eventually being the one chosen for the final contest.
MIHH: What about the inspiration toward the ad? Explain the creative direction behind the ad.
The inspiration behind the ad for me was Detroit. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. Detroit is overlooked in many aspects of life. The city is talked about candidly in media outlets from tv to news, and it’s better than that. The unemployment rate is sky high, but there is a lot of opportunity & inspiration here. Whether that’s thru music, movies, dance, or graffiti. The arts are prominent here. Detroit is the creator of making “something out of nothing”. I can’t take credit for coming up with the “creative direction” I have to give that up to the good people over at Campbell-Ewald. Any cellular phone with a camera can scan that barcode & it will take you to the website ( to see the promo video of me explaing why Detroit is somewhere you should want to be. You’ll start seeing those barcodes all over the place, it’s ingenious.

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