CBS Primetime Special
JCPenney Jam: The Concert for America’s Kids
Case Study: Experiential Marketing
JCPenney Jam, The Concert for America’s Kids was created, architected, and produced by Executive Visions (EVI) for their client JCPenney. EVI was co-founded by Charles Marto who while serving as Executive Vice President and Principal was credited as one of the two Executive Producers on this CBS primetime entertainment special.
While enjoying the rewards of a successful growth strategy, JCPenney Company wanted to strengthen consumer bonds by reinforcing the company’s legacy of community involvement through the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. They wanted to connect with kids, parents and the entire retail population.
The creation of an integrated, brand-immersive platform, “JCPenney Jam, The Concert for America’s Kids”. The program was an industry-first, cross-media initiative built around the biggest names in music. It targeted both consumer bonding and community relations objectives – and surpassed everyone’s expectations. While music served as the emotional driver, a broad mix of communication channels delivered powerful messaging.
The creative centerpiece was a CBS TV primetime special featuring a mega-list of iconic musical artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Sting and Mary J. Blige; country superstars Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans and Martina McBride; jazz star Chris Botti, rock supergroup 3 Doors Down, legendary vocal tenor Andrea Bocelli, Latin Grammy-winning pop star Alejandro Sanz and Grammy-winning R&B artist John Legend.
The concert was recorded for television with 21 cameras in high-definition before 6,000 fans at LA’s historic Shrine Auditorium. It was hosted by network celebrities Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw – and directed by 16-time Grammy winner, David Foster.
More than a one-time experiential marketing event, JCPenney Jam was an “ongoing” initiative, strategically linked to the JCPenney business plan that created a unique lifestyle connection with contemporary music and millions of consumers through merchandising, advertising, promotion, online activities, live events and PR…and more:
- To communicate key messages during the broadcast, the team produced a series of seven PSA-styled JCPenney Afterschool spots that transitioned in and out of musical performances – blurring the lines between program and commercial time, and effectively branding the show “JCPenney”
- Participating artists spread the word on programs like Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, CMT, and The View
- After the broadcast, a JCPenney Jam DVD/CD went on sale throughout the retail system, extending the message impact and raising vital funds for after-school programs
More than 120 million favorable consumer impressions were generated – linked to JCPenney as a socially responsible leader in the retail space. The spirit of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund continues today through JCP Cares.