Bozoma St. John Knew That Beyonce Was Going to be Big Before the Rest of Us
Bozoma St. John has worked for companies most people only dream of: Apple, Pepsi, and Uber. But it’s not her résumé that’s the most impressive thing about her. During an appearance on Katie Couric’s latest episode of Getting There, St. John revealed that her intuition is the thing that makes her stand out.
In the series, Couric looks at the routines and unique perspectives of tastemakers and influencers — and St. John certainly fits that bill. She’s been an expert at branding and can count some of the most memorable ad campaigns as her own ideas. The one that she’s most proud of, however, involves Beyoncé and Pepsi. St. John told Couric that she felt something when Beyoncé was about to make it big and she tossed that idea out to Pepsi and created some of the most iconic ads of a generation. Who can forget Beyoncé singing along to opera music before sipping soda? Or that epic gladiator commercial with Pink and Britney — and Enrique Iglesias?
“Beyoncé was coming out of Destiny’s Child, trying to find her new path, and at the time it was questionable whether or not she was going to make it,” St. John said. “We were pitching Pepsi as a client and […] what I found really fascinating was Beyoncé. It happened to be a really good idea.”
That pitch may have helped St. John land a job at the soda giant, where she worked for over a decade. That same intuition got her some face time with Jimmy Iovine and his Beats brand, which led her to Apple, where she became one of the coolest execs around. As the head of marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, she made a splash at the company’s keynote events and gained a huge audience thanks to her charm, charisma, and ability to be the coolest girl in the room. She can thank Queen B for that upward trajectory, but who doesn’t owe a little bit of their self-confidence to Beyoncé?