How To Rock A Broadcast Event Takeover

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, December 18, 2014

Did you watch the American Music Awards last month? Beyond the over-the-top performances and industry fanfare, one common theme that couldn’t be missed was how Chrysler, in partnership with Interscope Records, owned the sponsorship of the event. With five custom videos, featuring Eminem, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, and Phillip Phillips, and an on-stage 1965 Chrysler 300 low rider, there was no questioning the relationship between Chrysler and ABC. 

As a consumer I thought the content was well delivered and engaging, but as a marketer, I thought the strategy was even better and extremely well executed. What better way to reach the 18 to 39 demographic than to associate yourself with pop culture? By working with Interscope, Chrysler got just that...hip, relevant cache. And by committing to the event in such a big way, they won the night. Chrysler could have developed one spot and debuted it as part of the AMA broadcast, but then they would have simply been one of the sponsors, on a stage shared with many others. 



But the story doesn’t end there. Through digital channel distribution, engaging content, and an active audience, Chrysler is continuing to benefit from their investment. In looking at online video engagement for the Dodge, Chrysler, and Ram Trucks brands, the videos debuted at the AMA are far and away the most viewed in the past month and are already in the top 10 for each brand in the past three years. 

While Chrysler isn’t the first or only company that has focused on taking over an entertainment event (think Samsung in the 2014 Oscars), they are the most recent example of the strategy done well. Moving into 2015, I think there are three elements of their strategy that we can all learn from:

  • When engaging an audience, develop and leverage partnerships that extend brand value.
  • For major activations, go all-in...commitment is an extension of authenticity and will resonate.
  • Think beyond the event when developing content, as digital distribution is a great multiplier.
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