Digital Products for Teens
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Digital Products for Teens

Paul Holmes


“We live in a digital world.  
But digital technology can only be as amazing as the people who use it.  
Your pictures.  Your music.  Your creativity.  
Introduce the world to the digital you with Jam digital products.
Jam. You. Digital.”

KB Gear Interactive was a new company with big aspirations – to own the market for under-$100 digital consumer electronics. The company was going after the elusive teen market for its proprietary Jam brand of low-priced digital cameras, MP3 players, digital sound devices and web graphics tablets.  Karwoski & Courage Public Relations had a brand to build.

Karwoski & Courage and KB Gear waged a full-contact marketing public relations campaign, grabbing the attention of teens and young adults while they were online, reading their favorite magazine, shopping, surfing channels or going to a rock concert.  The fully integrated marketing strategy included advertising, database and direct mail, merchandising, promotions and public relations.


KB Gear was a new company in a crowded category – hip, digital products for teens.  Research told Karwoski & Courage that teens were sophisticated, technology-savvy, brand loyal and had access to loads of their own and their parents’ money.  The agency also discovered that teens deem a brand “cool” by themselves, and prefer not to have input from marketers.

And while KB Gear was the first company to compete in under-$100 digital products category, competition was quickly catching up.  Was there a distinguishing factor on which Karwoski & Courage could capitalize?  In addition to the digital products themselves, KB Gear offered an online component that enhanced each product in its Jam line.  Visitors to could do everything from printing, storing and e-mailing pictures to downloading music, from creating sound files to publishing personal web sites.  This unique product element allowed Karwoski & Courage to capitalize on a top teen pastime – surfing the Internet.


Extensive research was conducted on teens, their purchasing habits, their savvy with technology and Internet usage.  In addition, online surveys were conducted by (the largest web site for teens) on behalf of KB Gear.


Karwoski & Courage succeeded by placing the Jam brand wherever teens would be:

Jam products went on a 36-city tour with the Vans Warped Music Tour – the largest and best-attended alternative music festival of the year.

A video news release was produced positioning Jam products as perfect holiday gifts for teens.  Two Teen Magazine editors were interviewed for the VNR.

A “Jam World” kiosk toured shopping malls along the East Coast.  At this highly interactive booth, teens were able to e-mail a digital picture greeting as well as test musical skills or design and publish a web site.

KB Gear showed off its stuff at a handful of major industry trade shows, making contacts with retailers, media and analysts.

Teens around the U.S. received a hilarious e-mail message from Jam’s online messenger “Sam the Hand” – a hand puppet created with Jam products.  This online viral marketing tactic created buzz for the brand through non-traditional means.

Jam aligned on co-promotional efforts with online powerhouses such as AOL and, and formed a coalition with the White House’s initiative – the largest teen anti-drug campaign ever launched in this country.

A multi-million dollar TV campaign featuring the entire Jam brand aired on MTV (the number one ranked network for teens and ‘tweens) during back-to-school and holiday.  

Jam sponsored MTV’s popular Rock & Jock NBA celebrity basketball tourney.

Gateway Computers gave away JamCam 3.0 digital cameras with the purchase of a new PC.


Karwoski & Courage and KB Gear achieved results as follows:

  • Notable consumer, business and broadcast media placements, including: Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Fast Company, USA Today, Time Digital, YM, and Teen.
  • Video news release results were impressive, logging almost 40 placements nationwide.
  • An estimated 100,000 teens and ‘tweens were introduce to the Jam brand during the Vans Warped Music Tour.
  • Thousands of teens visited the Jam digital kiosk in malls along the East Coast.
  • Over 200 requests for media materials were made at the E3 Expo trade show.
  • 50,000 teens were e-mailed a message from Jam’s online messenger, “Sam the Hand.” 
  • Sales from Holiday 2000 exceeded company expectations.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus