Viral Spiral: Jared’s ‘GPS Dave’

It doesn’t take much searching on YouTube to discover a lot of Americans really enjoy taking a swipe at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry’s commercials, especially the oft-heard “He went to Jared’s” tagline. The numerous homespun video parodies prove that the jewelry chain’s central message is stuck in people’s heads like the first catchy song heard during a morning commute. Brand equity kudos aside, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. When Jared’s airs a TV commercial where “He went to Jared’s” isn’t mentioned ad nauseam, it’s a welcome break. Such is the case with “GPS Dave,” Jared’s commercial where the well-known tagline is only mentioned once, and early in the ad. A good call by the producers of the commercial.

This ad is effective in many ways for the jewelry chain, but mainly because it boasts good multi-generational appeal. Older generations who saw 2001: A Space Odyssey surely remember the voice of HAL 9000, the onboard super-computer that committed a hostile takeover of the ill-fated space mission to Jupiter. The Jared’s commercial featuring today’s GPS technology and the super-computer in the 1968 sci-fi classic have a man named Dave as the central character. Both are mild-mannered guys who lost control of the helm to an overbearing and ultimately defiant piece of technology. And with GPS units as common as DVD players and USB serial ports, the ad appeals to younger audiences who are familiar with the now-commonplace mapping technology.

It’s no accident that the GPS unit has a female voice. Surveys around the world have demonstrated that people dislike having technology talk at them. But if they must be subjected to a digital voice, a majority of people prefer  it to be a dulcet female one. This works well in the Jared’s ad as the female voice is one of approval, as the diamond necklace is draped over the dashboard-mounted GPS, signaling an immediate affirmation of getting a jewelry purchase right the moment the Jared’s bag hits the front seat of the car.

The combination of having a somewhat intimate interaction with Dave’s GPS unit—mixed with solid product information and repeated shots of the signature storefront associated with Jared’s—brings many of the chain store’s brand components into the ad without beating viewers over the head with the tagline.

Given the number of views (more than 22,500 since November of 2008 and counting) and reviews on YouTube, it’s obvious many people enjoy the commercial. Or perhaps YouTube surfers are just watching it repeatedly to get ideas for their own Jared’s parody. Either way, Jared’s wins with a memorable and pleasantly funny commercial on TV and online.

See what industry video marketing guru Nick Failla says about Jared the Galleria of Jewelry’s “Dave GPS”  video:

The creative team for Jared’s takes their “He went to
Jared’s” campaign to a whole new techno level with this one. This video really
touches on a lot of important points while at the same time still entertaining
us. I’m sure it was no accident that the following were incorporated into
the spot:

  1. “He went to Jared!” the consistent and powerful
    branding statement for national chain store.
  2. The Jared logo three times. Once subtly as
    the storefront is seen through the front window of the car, once on the gift
    bag, and once boldly at the end with the shot of the storefront which also
    supports the message that Jared is not your average jewelry store.
  3. Introducing the GPS “woman” into the ad serves
    to both make us laugh and cement in our minds that Jared is an up-to-date and
    current jeweler in touch with the times.
  4. The merchandise that was shown was universal in
    design so it would have a broad appeal; however, it still held the
    differentiating feature of being created from ideal cut diamonds used in the
    Heart’s Desire collection found only at Jared.
  5. This entertaining viral video also implied that
    even the most discriminating of tastes such as our highly technical navigation
    woman could be met and exceeded when you shopped at Jared.

Many will be quick to point out that of course Jared’s
creative budget allows them to hire an experienced team to create such
wonderful advertisements. While this is true, I have had the pleasure of
meeting and working with countless jewelers throughout the country. They may not all have big marketing budgets, but one thing I have noticed they
do have in common is immense creativity.

You may have noticed that over the last several weeks, some
of the best spots have not been impaired by having small budgets. In fact, some
of the best spots have actually been created by people just like you who don’t
have a lot of money, but do have wonderfully imaginative minds. Give it a
shot, won’t you?


Nick Failla