As uncertainty about the coronavirus swept the nation in April, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sought to provide "entertainment relief," as North American marketing chief Marissa Hunter called it, with a weekly slate of musical performances from various artists on Facebook.
FCA, which has often turned to music as a connection point with consumers, partnered with Interscope Records to deliver #MusicMonday events in which viewers could enjoy live shows and interact with performers. The sessions, featured on the Facebook pages of FCA's brands, were streamed on the Facebook Live Watch Party platform for three weeks beginning April 13.
On top of that, the automaker on April 9 debuted Ram Jam sessions, which will continue through May. The Ram Jam shows are separate from the Interscope partnership.
Hunter said brands still have an obligation to engage audiences with relevant and meaningful content during these trying times.
With many people sheltered in place and working remotely, Hunter said they are spending more time engaging in content on their social channels. That backdrop, she said, gave FCA the "unique opportunity to provide some entertainment" that reached a global audience.
The #MusicMonday program, which has ended, featured Dermot Kennedy, Sam Harris of the X Ambassadors rock band and The Struts.
All three acts are aligned with Interscope, a frequent FCA partner over the years. Each of the bands has worked with FCA on campaigns.
The list of Ram Jam headliners includes country music singers Jordan Davis and Tenille Townes.
"Even while things may be challenged right now, there are ways for us to continue to connect with people in a way that is meaningful and that adds value," Hunter told Automotive News. "What we try to do day in and day out is find meaningful ways to connect with our audiences. I think it's a principle that isn't just a COVID principle, necessarily. It's an overarching marketing principle."
FCA began working with Interscope in the second week of March to pull the #MusicMonday shows together.
Hunter said the locations of the artists "presented a little bit of challenge just from a logistical and a coordination perspective, but we worked with the label, and we were able to do preshow testing with each of the artists and use that as a way to ensure the best backdrop and sound quality that we possibly could."
The Ram Jam initiative was easier on the logistical front, Hunter said, because most of the artists are based in the Nashville area.
"If I was to measure the success of these programs, I would say that it's really tied to the sentiment that we're hearing, the appreciation that we're getting," Hunter said, "and the fact that what we're doing is helping people as they're dealing with this period."