Jet Tries Quirky Branding Effort That Turns Customers’ Shopping Carts Into Videos

The fledgling ecommerce site steps out with an attention-getting one-day real-time video-making effort, with the hope of intriguing customers and prospects with its humor and personality.

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While, founded by a former Amazon exec with high hopes of making it a big ecommerce player, has gotten lots of play in the business press, many consumers are likely unaware of its existence. And even those who’ve heard of Jet don’t necessarily have a sense of Jet’s brand “personality,” as it were, given it just launched to the public on July 21.

That’s the problem the company tried to remedy this week with #JetSpree, an oddball semi-user-generated marathon video effort that involved a barbershop quartet, double dutch jump-ropers, a yodeler, a pantomime artist, an improv group and a reluctant turtle (complete with turtle wrangler).

Turtle Wrangler Jim Lovisek of the Toronto Nature Center working on the Jet Spree set on Wednesday September 9, 2015

Turtle Wrangler Jim Lovisek of the Toronto Nature Center working on the Jet Spree set on Wednesday September 9, 2015

Liza Landsman, Jet’s Chief Customer Officer, told me the effort was born of the brand’s discussions with socially-oriented agency SS+K about an important question: “How do we infuse the humanity and fun-ness of our culture into how we express the brand to our customers and prospects?”

The user-generated part of the campaign involved shoppers being asked for permission for their shopping carts to be acted out in videos to be distributed via YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The concept was so odd — How do you turn shopping cart items into something worth watching in a video? — that it’s inherently attention-getting.

Here’s how reached out to existing customers about #JetSpree via email:


Jet put lots of creative resources into making those videos interesting and buzzworthy during the one-day video-making marathon. It gathered a sort of rapid-response team that could choose customers’ carts to feature, then come up with creative ways to perform the carts’ contents.

The marketing team, beyond the performers mentioned above, included SS+K’s lead creative and production head; a production company with comedy writers; two Jet employees to post, curate and share the assets through social channels; and, of course, the ubiquitous lawyer to answer any legal questions that arose.

The result?

A barbershop quartet sang about customer Gerald’s purchase of bike gear:

A hyped-up toy pig congratulated Brad on his purchase of a coffee maker:

A yodeler extolled Tyler’s manly purchases of beef jerky and deodorant:

By the end of the allotted time period, Jet had 379 shoppers opt in at checkout and the team sent videos to approximately 50 people based on their carts. Those customers helped to promote #JetSpree through their own social channels, and Jet also bought paid media on Facebook and Twitter to supplement organic and earned media efforts.

The fruits of the team’s labor will live on beyond the big #JetSpree day this week. Next week, Landsman says, the company will be giving away packages representing certain shopping carts and  will re-purpose the video to support that effort.

Additionally, display ads on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and other channels will be retargeted to people who’ve previously visited the Jet site, and ads will also be served to a broad range of others. The company says its demographic sweet spot is with older Millennials, but it hasn’t limited targeting to that group.

As a short term stunt, JetSpree appears against the background of more widespread programmatic display advertising and humorous television spots — two :30 spots, one :60 and a :15 — that began airing earlier this week. Organic and paid search have been deployed to capture folks driven to search engines by the offline creative.

“Like many modern marketers,” said Landsman, “we want television to drive search, to drive awareness and to express humanity and a sense of humor so that people establish an emotional connection to the brand. “

About the author

Pamela Parker
Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media's Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She's a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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