I listen to Jack FM — or at least that’s what a lot of people claim. The Vancouver radio station’s
“Show the World You Listen to Jack”
campaign has apparently sparked a viral marketing campaign. The contest sees people compete to creatively proclaim that “I listen to Jack”.
In the past few weeks, I’ve spotted:

  • a plane flying over downtown while towing a Jack FM banner
  • a downtown crane with lights that say Jack FM
  • a young man parading around downtown with a Jack FM sandwich board
  • the Jack FM van in high profile locations
  • several ads for the campaign

Some of the contest entries look legitimate.
But perhaps Jack is salting the contest with its own entries and or what might be presumed to be entries. Some of the apparent entries I’ve listed
above seem a little over the top. Who but the radio station itself would go to the trouble of renting a plane or space on a
crane when the top prize is just $25,000? Seems like a big outlay for a prize that isn’t guaranteed.
The lines between viral marketing and corporate marketing may be blurred. It’s hard to know. As far as I can tell,
there’s nothing in the contest entry rules to prevent the radio station from running its own campaigns in tandem
with the contest. It may be a viral marketing campaign carefully managed by the company, much like those I’ve mentioned before: Starbucks, Bumvertising, or Beware the Heat.

(c) 2005 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.