As if Nicki Minaj isn’t enough to win over ad buyers, perhaps money is.
Minaj was the performer at this year’s Adult Swim’s party, which has welcomed headliners Miley Cyrus and Kanye West in past years — and most importantly, the young crop of ad buyers who swarm to New York City for a week to be wined-and-dined by networks.
Minaj got on stage about 40 minutes after past her scheduled set time, but once she kicked off with “Feeling Myself,” she was smiling ear-to-ear and totally engaged with the audience. Dressed in tight black pants, a teensy yellow crop top and bright blonde hair, the former “American Idol” judge also performed “Moment 4 Life” and her hit “Anaconda,” among other chart-toppers. She closed the hourlong set with “Starships” to which the party-goers were jumping until confetti burst into the crowd.
The venue was targeted toward the millennial ad-types with an emoji-decorated step-and-repeat, plus cocktail napkins at the open bar that read “Millennials <3 AS” — a.k.a. Adult Swim. Turner talent including Jon Glaser, Adam Conover and the “Impractical Jokers” were mingling around the party. A few familiar faces including Zachary Levi and Breckin Meyer were watching Minaj from up on the balconies.
In the middle of Minaj’s set at Terminal 5 in Manhattan, the rapper called in impromptu dance contest, yelling to the packed house, “I need the three sexiest women on the stage…We’re gonna have a dance contest and I’m going to give away money.”
Four different young women and one man come up on the stage to show off their best twerking skills and Minaj stayed true to her word, giving the winner $500.
Impressing ad buyers is nothing new for the Upfronts. Last year, Cyrus lit up on stage and passed a joint around to the Adult Swim audience. Earlier this week, Telemundo threw a private Jennifer Lopez concert. And Minaj giving away a cash prize may just bring in more cash for Adult Swim — just imagine the hungover millennials raving to their bosses during the CW’s upfront tomorrow morning about dancing on stage with Minaj the night before.