The Jeep brand has broken new ground when it comes to product placement as the automaker had an episode of NBC’s Songland devoted to it. As part of the very last episode of the songwriting competition, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brand enjoyed an hour of television dedicated entirely to its brand. Judges included FCA Chief Marketing Officer Olivier Francois as they all considered the contestants and their respective entries while opting to select a song that encapsulated the Jeep brand and was subsequently performed by Nashville-based band Old Dominion. The song is now featured in a new 90-second Jeep ad which ran immediately once the show was over.
The Songland competition represents yet another innovative undertaking from the brand’s marketing team as it works to raise its profile and boost sales amidst tough competition. Although Songland aired throughout the entire Summer (2019), Jeep was the only automotive brand that garnered a spot. “With other brands, the producers may have been afraid that the episode would seem too commercial. I mean, having a whole episode devoted to a brand is pretty crazy. But because of everything we’ve done with Jeep, there was this bond of trust that we would partner with them without making the thing feel too commercial. And Jeep is such an iconic and great brand. I was interested in the possibility of getting product placement to the next level, and this really is it,” said Francois Olivier.
Francois also added: “There’s no product being features; it’s actually brand placement. It’s not scripted. It absolutely doesn’t seem like something commercial. But at the same time, it’s one hour of some of the most respected music producers, speaking to the ethos and soul and DNA of what Jeep stands for. And it’s incredible.”
Ryan Tedder, a Grammy-winning producer and lead singer of OneRepublic was an active judge in the competition and he’s no stranger to working with Jeep. The band starred in the 2018 “Summer of Jeep” campaign that featured its hit song “Connection.” The following Winter (2019), the band was also featured in the two-minute “More Than Just Words” campaign from the brand geared towards the Super Bowl audience as a celebration of Jeep’s patriotism and its place in Americana iconography. As a visual narration of “The Star Spangled Banner,” the video shattered online view records and feedback for FCA as it climbed to over 110 million total views. Comments about “More Than Just Words” were overwhelmingly positive, with online sentiment for the Jeep brand as 99 percent either positive or neutral. Jeep recently worked with actor, singer-songwriter and musician Jeremy Renner as part of its 2019 “Summer of Jeep” campaign as well.
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