How a ‘culture-making’ tie-up helped JBL go viral

The audio brand’s collaboration with US rapper Doja Cat went from the Grammy Awards to viral TikTok sensation, helping JBL resonate with its key Gen Z audience.

Audio brand JBL might be 70 years old, but its key demographic skews far younger. On a mission to engage Gen Z consumers, the company signed US rapper Doja Cat as its global brand ambassador.

Setting out to forge a “culture-making” relationship and gain “massive” earned media, JBL announced the tie-up by unveiling Doja Cat with a bespoke Clip 4 portable speaker adorned with crystals. Designed to match her Versace outfit for the 2022 Grammy Awards, the speaker hit the red carpet attached to Doja’s handbag via a diamond chain.

Next, she teased the partnership on social media, cheekily rebranding JBL as Jibble, Jibble, Jibble. In response, the company temporarily rebranded and responded to the rapper via a TikTok duet, which went viral. The tie-up spanned a summer brand campaign, performance at JBL Fest and ‘Dare to Design’, a competition inviting fans to design Doja inspired custom headphones and speakers.

The Grammys stunt alone resulted in 82 million social impressions and more than 10 million social engagements for JBL. The TikTok duet clocked up 13,304 viewing hours, while content about the partnership’s launch reached 22.4 million views on the social media app.

According to JBL, the year-long partnership lifted its overall brand familiarity score by 7%, as measured by Kantar. In total, the collaboration notched up 4.4 billion earned media PR impressions and 665 million social impressions among a Gen Z audience.

The Dare to Design competition drove a 1,000% uptick in visits to the brand’s personalisation portal, results which helped JBL win the 2023 Marketing Week Award for Best Use of Influencers.