Jeep has tapped emerging artists to help launch its newest vehicle, the Jeep Compass, via a four-week, multi-market tour. The trek commences with an Aug. 24 kick-off event featuring G. Love & Spec
Jeep has tapped emerging artists to help launch its newest vehicle, the Jeep Compass, via a four-week, multi-market tour.
The trek—Uncharted: The Jeep Compass Music Tour—commences Aug. 24 with a free concert in New York's Central Park. For this kick-off event, G. Love & Special Sauce will headline, with support from the eight artists who will then tour the United States, performing at more than 300 free concerts. The mode of transportation for the featured artists on this trek is certainly a first. Forgoing the usual tour bus, each artist will travel, from gig to gig, in a Jeep Compass.
The featured artists are AM, Creede Williams, SONiA, Eric Hutchinson, Mike Himebaugh of the Hello Dave Band, John Pringle, Christopher Jak and David Berkeley. Each artist will tour one region of the country—West, Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Midwest, Southeast, Rocky Mountains and Northeast.
In addition to traditional concert venues, the artists will perform at other locales popular with music fans: in front of a coffee bar/cafe, for example. Incorporated into each performance will be the Jeep Compass, replete with its flip-down rear lift gate speakers.
AWE and GMR, two entertainment marketing agencies under the Radiate umbrella of Omnicom, were instrumental in partnering Jeep and the artists.
With the Uncharted tour, Jeep hopes to expose its new Compass model to as many young people as possible at venues that are unique and different, says director of Jeep communications Jay Kuhnie. "We aim to connect with this audience through music," he adds. The target demo for the Jeep Compass is the 22-30-year-old.
This is not the first time Jeep has worked with under-the-radar acts. Past initiatives, including Camp Jeep, have also spotlighted emerging artists. In each case, Jeep helps "publicize these artists and to help get them heard," Kuhnie says. Conversely, he adds, it gives Jeep the opportunity to showcase the features of its newest vehicle in non-traditional settings. Consider it quid pro quo in action.
For both sides, brand and artists, this campaign encourages consumers to "discover," says Radiate president Stephen Knill. "These artists need to build their fan bases," he explains. "Live shows help them to better connect with fans—and go beyond their Web sites." Similarly, he adds, the Jeep Compass will be an "organic" element of the Uncharted tour.
AWE president of sales and marketing Marcus Peterzell acknowledges that, when it came time to select the acts, the main challenge was timing. AWE and Radiate received the official green light from Jeep in July. So, the two firms had to move quickly for a September launch. "We needed artists who could tour solo—and who could give us their time in September," Peterzell says. Jeep also had a strong desire to feature authentic and original artists. Jeep—which is paying each artist a fee for its services as well as covering each artist's travel expenses—had final approval of the artists.
Music fans wishing to track the progress of the tour and to listen to the music of the eight artists can log on to the Jeep Compass Uncharted Myspace page, myspace.com/jeep. The interactive page will be home to a tour schedule, free downloads from each artist and video footage from their Uncharted performances.
The video footage is being lensed by network TV film production company Freewheelin' Films, which will create a a 60-minute Uncharted documentary for syndication early next year.