Yesterday when I went to the realtor office to pay my rent, the secretary who took my check immediately greeted me with, "How are you? Are you going to the J. Lo concert tonight?"
I live in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, where "J. Lo" is a beloved figure and frankly, our pride and joy. Jennifer Lopez grew up in Castle Hill neighborhood, just a short drive from Orchard Beach, where she played a free concert last night for more than 16,000 of her fans, according to New York Police Department.
The "State Farm Neighborhood Session" show, believe it or not, marks the first time Lopez has performed in her home borough. Lopez is releasing her eighth studio album, A.K.A, next Friday, June 13. Despite going to bat to launch a record seven times prior, it's clear that Jenny from the Block continues to enhance her understanding of how to innovate, excite, and brand herself impeccably.
Lopez took to Facebook back in January to let the locals know that she was "coming home." Since then, she's peppered postings with calls to action about how to get in on the fun. Lopez has struck earned and shared media gold with social activity.
Here's what marketers can take from #JLoComingHome:
1. Go grassroots. Jenny came to back to her block(s) this past winter to film a documentary-style music video for the song "Same Girl," off A.K.A. True to her very first album title On the 6, Lopez literally hopped the 6 train from Manhattan back to Castle Hill, walked the streets of the Bronx, tapped a local youth music group, and made arguably her most authentic video to date.
2. Hail to the hashtag. Hashtags are a free way to build not just any list, but a focused list of enthusiasts sharing their sentiments about your brand, launch, or product. #JLoComingHome has been used to spread the awareness about her Bronx activities, but also leveraged now by fans to continue the conversation about her homecoming show. See for yourself: #JLoComingHome has taken on a life of its own (on multiple social networks).
3. Concentrate your communications for best results. Though #JLoComingHome is a global marker, the concert obviously was a targeted initiative around a densely J. Lo fan populated area: Where she grew up! "What we love about her is that she's from here. She brings out the best in us," a little girl told a CBS News reporter at the Orchard Beach concert last night. Remember that "roots" run deep, for emotional connection and for maximum reach. In essence, J. Lo can't go wrong with any kind of launch in the Bronx. These are her people, and her ultimate focus group.
Here's a timeline of social activity that proves J. Lo is the "Same Girl" with new marketing tricks:
January 30: Lopez premieres "Same Girl" video, the homegrown footage shot in her hometown on her social media channels. The following day she takes it to the masses on YouTube.
March 13: Lopez launches a video for the song "I Luh Ya Papi" featuring French Montano on VEVO.
March 16: Lopez takes to Facebook to ask for old photos and video footage from her "Mamis and Papis from the Bronx!"
May 15: Lopez announces via Facebook the new album A.K.A is coming soon.
May 12: Lopez posts a photo of her childhood home in the Bronx, with the simple caption "#JLoComingHome". That post alone garnered nearly 550 shares.
May 14: Lopez shouts on Facebook "Get Ready Bronx" to announce the State Farm Neighborhood Coming Home show in Orchard Beach. The same day she stopped by New York's Hot 97 radio station to tell DJ Angie Martinez the scoop.
May 18: Lopez performs "Same Girl" for the first time on television at the Billboard Award, where she also was honored with an "Icon Award."
May 21: Lopez take "First Love" to the "American Idol" audience with a performance of the song.
May 25: Lopez gets the press talking by touting the artists featured on her new record with a Facebook photo. MTV News shared the hype with an article titled, "You Won't Believe The Features On Jennifer Lopez's A.K.A" naming her key "influencers": TI, French Montana, Iggy Azalea, Rick Ross, Pitbull, Back Mizrahi, Nas, and Tyga.
June 1: Lopez arrives in the Bronx to launch the Lopez Family Foundation Center for a Healthy Childhood with her sister Lynda, at Montefiore Medical Center.
June 4 (day of show): Lopez posts a photo of "the fragrance she'll be wearing tonight": Her own, "Glowing Goddess" (complete with a CTA to download her song.) Nice touch, Jenny.