packaged goods

Turtle Wax, Jam In The Van Hope To Be So Happy Together

Turtle Wax’ focus groups and its own YouTube videos alerted the brand to an affinity group that wouldn’t necessarily jump out at you: Music fans. 

That’s why the Chicago-based Turtle Wax brand is partnering with Jam In the Van, a mobile recording studio that, since 2011, has been turning up at concerts around the country, and making polished videos of music acts — famous or regional or obscure — from its solar-powered studio on wheels.  It’s made over 1,000 recordings. 

The videos then show up on social media sites. Though Jam in the Van only has 190,000 YouTube subscribers, many of its videos have been seen millions of times. 

“Our focus groups noticed that a lot of times, when we ask people to describe waxing their car, they talk about listening to the radio or music while they’re doing it,”  says Courtney Lauer, global marketing director at Turtle Wax. 



And Turtle Wax video watchers, it turns out, over-index as music fans too. “The passion for cars and music go hand and hand,” she says. 

That made the alliance with the California-based Jam in the Van pretty perfect. More than 60% of its viewers are solidly Millennials. And while Turtle Wax is a well-known car wax brand to the kind of people who grew up waxing their cars listening to AM or FM, Lauer says the 70-year-old brand is not as well known with the “next generation of auto enthusiasts.”  

What they know of car wax, she says, might be that it’s hard to do, and Turtle Wax needs to convince them that hasn’t been true since their grandfather’s Oldsmobile.

The brand will have signage on the van, and at some venues will be able to have full-blown displays and giveaways. The videos will show up on Jam in the Van’s YouTube channel and Turtle Wax’s sites too. The pair will also set up their own Spotify channel and a contest will take a winner behind the scenes for a recording session.

This could be a good year for Turtle Wax. Lauer says the seemingly constant stream of bad winter weather very likely means that when spring weather arrives, a lot of car owners will be eager to wash away months of rock salt. 

Jam in the Van has recorded over 1,000 bands, partnering most notably with Lagunitas Brewing Company, Audio-Technica headphones and music gear, Sparkling Ice water and other brands. Turtle Wax marketing happens  in other unusual places. It’s a big e-sports sponsor. “You have to find your customers where they currently are,” says Lauer, even if you have to drive a little.

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