In New Campaign, JBL Is All Ears

JBL thinks nothing makes people more of themselves than what they listen to all day. Yet most wireless earbuds are limited, with little variety in fit, color or style.

So the brand is launching “JBL Makes Earbuds (For Every-One),” a campaign focusing on products that make it easier for people to express themselves. Ads feature people like director Ryan Doubiago, painter Samm McAlear and musician Marshall Lawrence.

“JBL is one of the only brands that has figured out how to create a personalized experience for you that even goes into form, fit and color,” says Chris Epple, vice president of marketing at Harman International, which owns JBL. (Harman is part of Samsung.) “So the idea of this campaign is really about celebrating individualism and how that translates into your audio experience.”



That includes embracing the weird. For the launch party, JBL turned its SoHo store in New York into “a dynamic epicenter for JBLiens,” with a performance from Flyana Boss, a hip-hop duo that’s all about the unusual. (Their new single is called “UFHOS.”)

JBL worked with Havas on the global campaign and hopes the effort blasts through “the sea of sameness” that defines many of the brand’s competitors.

And while JBL does have a core demographic target, Epple tells Marketing Daily the company is more focused on psychographics. “It’s for anybody who wants to be proud of who they are, celebrating their distinctiveness. We are looking for people who want to bring their true selves out every day.”

Earbuds are a deeply personal product, with users wearing them an average of five hours daily. “They have to take you through your day,” he says, “from your conference call to a moment of Zen to a pump-up moment of music. We're trying to create an experience that allows you to have all those in one day, making them fully customizable.”

Epple declined to say how much the company is spending, but added that it is the largest brand investment ever made in a single campaign.

Ads are heavily focused on social media, especially TikTok. “And we're finding video content on YouTube has been wildly successful,” he says, “as has Snap.”

Influencers are also important. Partners are chosen not just for what’s made them famous “but for those with interesting stories to tell, and who celebrate their individualism.”

Epple says the company is closely tracking engagement metrics on social media. “Our rallying cry for creating this campaign was 'Stop the scroll.’ We’re creating many ways to get people to stop, look and click.”

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