Jeep, the auto marque owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), has made innovative use of music partnerships to engage consumers, as well as to create impactful TV spots.

Olivier Francois, FCA’s CMO, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Masters of Marketing Conference.

And he highlighted a tie-up with “Songland” – a competition show on NBC that sees five songwriters compete to have their songs recorded by major artists, assisted by big-name producers – as an example of its approach in the music space.

Jeep dominated an entire episode of the show, which aimed to find a piece of music that could serve as the soundtrack for a TV commercial promoting the brand. (For more details, read WARC’s report: How the power of music partnerships drives Jeep’s marketing success.)

“I love it, because the brand became a character in the show. And, like any character in any show, you connect with it; you want to befriend it; you want to know more; you feel engaged; and you relate,” said Francois.

Elaborating on the thinking behind this tie-up, he suggested that going beyond traditional brand integrations is essential to achieve cut-through with consumers.

“The last thing I wanted to see was a contestant singing in front of a car with a can of dog food in his hand … We will never be another advertiser pushing this product in a space where it just doesn't belong,” Francois said.

Another partnership saw Jeep work with actor Jeremy Renner – a star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and also a musician with a sound that matched Jeep’s brand ethos.

Renner soon jumped onto a Jeep shoot and the nameplate ended up with two spots – with the actor offering star wattage on the screen and a powerful sonic accompaniment, too.

“This was a real story of Jeremy trying to find a new level of freedom – the freedom to sing, to play music, and to be himself,” Francois said.

And the flip-side for the brand: “Jeep was the perfect vehicle to tell this story, because it's exactly like Jeremy: cool, rugged and immensely capable.”

Coupled with millions of organic YouTube views, Francois reported, its work with Renner “more than doubled the industry average of websites visits. We had incredible engagement, and our best conversion rates ever” – as well as selling tens of thousands of Jeeps.

Sourced from WARC