Auto manufacturers around the world are starting to realise the impact that hip-hop is having on urban culture and are now using it to attract younger customers.

Auto manufacturers around the world are starting to realise the impact that hip-hop is having on urban culture and are now using it to attract younger customers.

In this pursuit, larger chunks of advertising budgets are being used to get the message across to the urban and hip-hop audiences.

"And urban is directly related to hip-hop," J Mays, Ford's chief designer in the US, said. "I'm talking about P. Diddy, Lil' Kim, Eminem, droopy jeans, bling bling. It's cool."

Hip-hop is going down well with mainstream audiences, affecting the cultures of food, music and cars as well. More and more, manufacturers are incorporating "urban" styling in their new designs and forming partnerships with rappers to get more urban influence.

One marketing maestro, Josh Taekman, said hip-hop's audience was getting older, better educated and more affluent. The hip-hop audience is the one watching TV, surfing the internet and creating awareness and the corporate world has realised how much media exposure it is allowing it.

The findings of the Brandstand list, which documents brands being mentioned in songs on the Billboard charts in the USA, showed that Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Cadillac were mentioned more than 200 times in top 20 songs last year. The list is said to be a key barometer on the relevance of brands to youth culture.

But all this exposure to hip-hop could also have a negative effect on manufacturers as the explicit and sometimes vulgar lyrics used often refer to sex, drugs or violence.

And while the manufacturers have said that they are opposed to these lyrics, they are not really able to monitor the use of them. Interesting enough is the approach that they seem to have taken since most said they would "cross that bridge when they got to it".

Original article from Car