See the Spot: First Jet TV Ad Bills Site as the Biggest Thing in Retail... Ever

The Over-the-Top Spot Is One of Many Ways Jet Is Trying to Blow Consumers' Minds

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Jet.com, a members-only shopping site that opened its virtual doors to the public this summer, is breaking its first TV spot on Tuesday as part of a national advertising effort to introduce the retailer to the masses.

Chief Customer Officer Liza Landsman previously teased that the upcoming TV spot would be "mindblowing," in an interview with Ad Age. And now we know why.

The ad literally features consumers' minds exploding into clouds of purple smoke when they learn about Jet's savings. Families at home, couples making out on the sidewalk, women at the hair salon and people at the gym are all victims of mental overload when they first discover Jet in their respective settings. Only a blind man, who can't physically see a nearby boy shopping Jet at the bus stop, is safe from having his mind vaporized.

The spot also traces the history of retail all the way back to the barter system and bills the new shopping site as the biggest thing to ever happen in commerce, trumping the advent of the Internet.

The over-the-top ad, created by R/GA, has a triple-focus on highlighting the fun behind the brand, sticking out, and introducing Jet as shopping site where consumers can save on items that run the gamut from toilet paper to TVs, according to Ms. Landsman. "We wanted to infuse a bit more humanity in e-commerce, which can sometimes feel a little cold and impartial," she said.

Jet has been plugging the message that it's a new kind of shopping site through digital, social and out-of-home efforts as part of a $100 million 12-month ad blitz that kicked off when the the company launched to the public in July. Since then, the 100,000 users it launched with have tripled and are on the brink of quadrupling, Ms. Landsman said. And even more importantly for the subscriber service, those customers are coming back, she said.

"It's great to see the response of people coming in trying the platform and using it repeatedly," said Ms. Landsman, adding that more than half of Jet's traffic comes from mobile, which is reflected in the way shoppers are depicted in the new spot, often on-the-go. "People are approaching us and coming to the site through lots of different devices," she said.

The 15- and 30-second TV ads will air nationally for 12 weeks during events like the premieres of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and CBS's "Supergirl," and a 60-second version will run during regional NFL games on CBS on Sunday, Sept. 13.

It's rare for online retailers to unveil a broadcast spot like this right out of the gate. Amazon shoppers were filling carts on the platform for nearly 18 years before the e-tailer ran an ad on TV. But Jet, as a young, general retailer up against behemoths like Amazon, Costco and Walmart, is flexing all of its media muscle to get on consumers' radars.

"Our platform, our site, is so broadly accessible and broadly applicable for the mass market," said Ms. Landsman. "We're going out across so many categories. We really just wanted to create that awareness."

Jet is also working with SS+K on a social push called "#JetSpree" that celebrates the fun items people shop for. On Sept. 9, the retailer will produce vignettes of customers' shopping carts, with themes like barbershop quartet, improvisational troupe or double dutch, that can be shared through social media. Customers will be able to opt-in to receive their personalized videos from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. the day of the event. The effort aims to reward shoppers and teach them more about the platform's "smart cart" feature, which generates the most savings.

"It is both a really fun, gamified way to bring to life these smarter carts, and also a great way for us to drive home the message that the more you buy smart, the more you save," said Ms. Landsman.

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