Jeep is celebrating summer with a campaign touting a custom Wrangler model, with ads featuring a remastered song by Michael Jackson, "Love Never Felt So Good," which the late singer recorded in the ’80s. The effort -- which runs through September, and touts the Jeep Wrangler Altitude version -- benefits from a partnership with Epic Records and producer L.A. Reid and from Jeep's relationship with U.S.A. Basketball. The latter is the governing body of hoops in the U.S. and the organizational banner for U.S. national teams. Four TV spots feature the Jackson song, which is from a just-released, posthumous album, "Xscape."
Two of the four TV spots feature point guard Kyrie Irving, who is on the U.S.A. team and also plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The tie-in with the organization gives Jeep a presence at a series of U.S.A. Basketball exhibition games this summer in Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York starting in July. The brand will have an "All Things Summer" experience at games.
The TV campaign, which broke last week on the NBA playoffs and will run through the end of August, also has an Hispanic-market Spanish-language vector where soccer, not basketball, is the game of summer. Kim Adams House, director of Jeep advertising, tells Marketing Daily that basketball-themed creative with Irving constitutes an African American-market vector.
The general market ads -- whose cast is racially diverse -- show both the Altitude and the Cherokee as people frolic in the sun: driving on dirt roads, hanging out on the beach, tooling around on bicycles, flipping burgers at cookouts and generally doing the sun worshipper thing. Jeep AOR GlobalHue created the campaign, including diversity market work. Media heavy lifting was by Universal McCann.
House says the broad appeal of the summer theme allows the brand to "dimensionalize the conversation under a single campaign to create relevance to channels of specific consumer engagement. But everything is about summer; the general market really looks at a broader spectrum of summer experiences." She adds that even with the focus on Wrangler Altitude, "it's a conversation about the brand that we want to have. [With Altitude,] we are introducing a uniquely designed vehicle that represents freedom."
The effort includes custom content on Jeep's summer campaign microsite and a chance to win prizes by uploading photos to #jeepsummer on Instagram. Jeep is also continuing its association with the USO (United Service Organization), which which partnered last year around Operation Safe Return: Jeep donate $1 to the USO for every photo uploaded.