By: Jennifer Chan

What a summer we had at Jam Van for 2017! Our cross-country tour with Motrin was a major hit. As mentioned in the article, “The Johnson & Johnson brand is touring popular races and marathons to help boost unaided awareness.” ( The campaign ran through May and June with a Motrin-branded Jam Van travelling to four different markets in Canada. For those of you not familiar with the pharma brand, the company is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, with medication that targets pain and fever relief. In order to educate consumers about the brand, its uses and benefits, drive trial to sales, and brand affinity, J3, J&J’s in-house marketing agency, chose Jam Van, with nearly 20 years of experience in mobile exhibit executions.

Shoppers Run For Women at Edworthy Park in Calgary, ON (June 11, 2017)

Motrin offers a wide variety of options for consumers to handle their pain. Shoppers have access to Motrin Tablets, Platinum Muscle & Body Caplets, and Liquid gels to provide families with products to help them feel better and make the most of every day. Motrin is committed to helping consumers push through pain and continue with their busy, active lives. Targeting headaches, fever, sore muscles, inflammation, joint and back ache, sprains and strains, and menstrual cramps.

Signing up and receiving Motrin back packs Calgary,
AB (June 2017)

This was the fuel in creating the Unstoppable campaign targeting the women who are the engine that keeps everything going. In their careers and families, mommy groups and social networks, their energy radiates and is infectious. They’re busy and they love it. They treat decisively, live dynamically, and refuse to let pain put their life, or the lives of those they love on hold. The Jam Van group created an interactive and unique marketing experience at events and local hotspots, included incentives, savings, and trial, leveraged mobility and eye-catching elements to attain maximized outreach.

Motivating athletes with positive messages! Toronto, ON (May 2017)

A Jam Van was fully wrapped in bright orange, while the interior was full of décor that offered an inviting and comfortable space to relax after a race. Branded drawstring tote bags, water bottles, and coupons were given away but the highlight of the set-up was the floral backdrop photo opportunity. A unique structure behind a podium allowed runners to capture a memorable take-home photo that commemorated the event. In addition, yoga mats and foam rollers for post-stretching were well-received.

Post race photo ops in Calgary, AB (June 2017)

The activation visited Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver, participating in several sporting events including: GoodLife Fitness Marathon, Run for H20, Color me Rad, and Shoppers Run for Women. Scheduled locations included hotspots, fitness clubs, and parks such as Trinity Bellwoods Park, Yonge and Dundas Square, Parliament Hill, Stephens Avenue Walk, Eau Claire Market, Seawall, Coal Harbour Quay and Sunset Beach Park. These carefully scouted areas aligned with our strategies to reach the right demographic and accomplish key objectives for this campaign. Combining Jam Van street parking permit expertise and event sponsorship allowed the team to be successful.

Post race Recovery Zone in Ottawa, ON (May 2017)

The biggest challenge when developing and executing a concept for a pharmaceutical company are the regulations surrounding the marketing and distribution of medication. The legalities are long winded and require a large of time and manpower to cover every rule in the book. An issue we had with driving experiential was being unable to deliver physical tablets on location. However, many consumers were just as happy to fill in their information for a trial to be sent directly to them.

“Oddly enough, while I was in the hospital Motrin is all that would work for my pain. Even worked better than percocets, which I know sounds weird. I was just grateful not to be in pain.” – Andrea, 27

“I saw you guys yesterday at the marathon and took pictures to send my friends. I wanted my friends to see what I needed after the run and you were all there.” – Marcus, 45

One stop Recovery Zone on-board the Jam Van in Toronto, ON (May 2017)

It was only natural for pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to join partnership with experiential marketing agency Jam Van Inc. in making this campaign as successful as it was. Together, this mobile pop-up can reach almost 1 million consumers across Canada. Jam Van has optimized their expertise in OOH media advertising to bring the Motrin brand to four major markets. If you are interested in mobile experiential marketing, we can customize a program to suit your personal brand.

Eau Claire Market in Calgary, Alberta (June 9, 2017)

Smoothies + Freezing Rain + Mobile Stage = Top 200 Billboard: A How To

Think our math doesn’t add up? Think again.

When you have a band as great as Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS) whose dedication to their fans is untenable it’s a no brainer. Wanting to give back to their faithful followers, Ash and Human Kebab along with their record label, Coalition Music, came to Jam Van to design an interactive experience to promote their new album, New World Alphabet, being released January 13, 2017.  The strategy was simple: travel around Toronto doing pop-up concerts on the street connecting with as many consumers as possible.

New World Alphabet Album Cover (January 2017)

The result was using the Jam Van as a mobile stage with the band performing new songs from the album as well as old hits to groups of fans who came out in freezing rain and below zero temperatures just to see their favourite band. The campaign included full billboard media branding on the outside of the Jam Van and targeted key hotspots that matched the demographic. USS also handed out ramen noodles at a few locations. However, the big hit came with smoothies made by the band itself!

Lining up at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON to see the pop-up concert (January 2017)

Surprisingly, there are still companies that question experiential marketing and Out of House Marketing. Wondering how to make it work or conform to their antiquated and often outdated rules and guidelines based on decades old data that no longer apply in today’s fast-paced technology driven world. Budget conscious clients will trim OOH first not realizing how valuable the experience of getting up close and personal with the consumer can truly be.

Handing out handmade smoothies to adoring fans. (January 2017)

New geo-targeting technology as well as social media are leading OOH and experiential marketing into a new era. Shaping the horizon of the entire marketing world. Being able to go where consumers are is a tremendous advantage. The fear of missing out leads the consumer to want to try anything from virtual reality to augmented realities.

Mobile concert hall, fan meet-n-greet, and food truck all rolled into one activation! (January 2017)

Everyone loves being handed free smoothies but who wouldn’t love being handed a free smoothie made especially for them by their favourite band member? As the crowds back in January attest, lots of people appreciate it. It also helps having a client like Coalition Music and the fantastic guys of USS who were open to all ideas. Over the course of two days 15.3 million impressions were generated using the hashtags #USSNWA #USSday. Along with national media coverage on CP24 and 102.1 The Edge. The basis of the whole campaign was thinking outside the box and utilizing tools that only an experienced agency would know. USS hit #2 on Top 200 chart and #3 Top 200 Billboard.

Still think the math doesn’t add up?

Coalition Music Case Study (January 10-11, 2017)



One Year at Jam Van: Key Learnings from a Guerilla Virgin

Business Development Manager, Louiza Szacon

I recently celebrated my one year anniversary at Jam Van Inc! About 15 months ago, I joined as the Business Development Manager and began my adventure in the world of guerilla and mobile marketing experiences.  I am so fortunate to work with such a fantastic, dynamic and creative group of people, who I am also lucky to call my friends.  Our work offers loads of excitement, entertainment and exposure to some of the coolest brands in Canada!  I started off my work with the launch of Estée Edit in Toronto!

Estee Edit Jam Van Campaign

My past experience has largely been in event marketing via sponsorship acquisition, development and campaign execution.  I worked with luxury and technology brands in defined spaces, where the execution focused on acquisition and forming strategic partnerships.  I also executed pop-up shops and events in blank canvas spaces like fields, festivals, event venues, conferences and parking lots.  A blank canvas is very inspiring and awesome – until you start planning the execution and realize just how much you need to actually create your experience.

Now, having had experience in standard event marketing, I can contrast and compare a guerilla mobile activation against a non-mobile activation, like an in-store pop-up shop. Here are a few of my key learnings:

1.   Turnkey saves lots of dollars.  Turnkey must be the largest advantage of a Jam Van mobile marketing truck – everything is built in!  I remember executing pop-up shops at storefront venues and watching my budget bloat and bloat and bloat.  Even with a healthy budget, there are so many additional costs that creep into a developing campaign in a blank space that has zero turnkey equipment. For example, sourcing and installing audio and visual equipment, lighting, furniture, Wi-Fi, special effects, transport and logistics for load-in/load-out of all the equipment, labour for installation, etc.  These costs add up quickly!  I have learned that with Jam Van marketing truck, the entire machine is turnkey, simplifying lots of headache, logistics and dollars that come with event marketing.  It’s like a “press play” marketing machine. Moreover, because it’s turnkey and customizable, it’s entirely possible to work within a variety of budgets.

2.   Public Access is key!

Jam Van is very fortunate to be grandfathered into the “food truck” movement almost 20 years ago, when the company used to sell CDs directly from the truck.  Due to these permits to sell merchandise, we are able to activate, sample and promote from the Jam Van.  Our clients love this opportunity because this allows us to park and activate in dense pedestrian traffic areas, without requiring a budget for private permits.  Rather than pay for hefty vendor or venue rental fees, we are able to reallocate budget to augmenting the experience!  Some of our favourite locations in Toronto include King and Spadina, Liberty Village, Queen and Soho and Yonge and Dundas.

3.   Mobile

Jam Van Inc. specializes in mobile marketing experiences – and I never realized just how efficient mobile could be.  Rather than choose one location for a pop-up shop, why not hit up multiple desired locations?  This approach eliminates the need for a robust public relations budget to inform the public of your pop-up shop. Rather than drive consumers to your location, we can drive  directly to the consumers and target multiple locations daily to reach demographics at various parts of their day.

4.  Cost Efficient

I touched on this earlier, but my goodness – a turnkey mobile pop-up shop is far more cost efficient than a standard store front activation.  This allows room to allocate budget to premium swag items, influencer relations, social media strategy, or making the customizable showroom and experience stand out. 

BMO Mobile Marketing
Bank of Montreal Jam Van

5.   Jam Van Inc. is a Wholesaler

Yep!  We designed, developed and built each one of the Jam Van units in Canada.  The process was lengthy to ensure that every component was accounted, making the Jam Van invention turnkey and versatile to suit many types of brands. Because we own our products and technology, this means that your brand is getting the rock bottom costings for your activation.  With agency partners, we are able to be fully white label!

Marketing Truck Fleet - Toronto

6.   Full Execution

One time, I remember renting a photo booth experience and being left to manage it on my own.  At Jam Van, the team offers full turnkey mobile marketing activations, complete with all sourcing, staffing, and project arrangement – if you prefer.   With many of our clients, we also offer concept and creative ideation, leveraging our years of experience in guerilla marketing to create a memorable experience.  How many event venues will manage all logistics?

Each Jam Van includes an Operations Manager/Driver who is an expert in all the onboard technology. We won’t leave you hanging or expect you to drive this monster marketing truck on your own!  We can totally appreciate that maybe you don’t have the time to manage an activation.  You have ads to buy, campaigns to plan, reports to write, and administrative duties.  The goal is to remove these headaches, and develop and execute an unforgettable activation.  Our events team wil handle all the troubleshooting and nuances that come with experiential and event marketing.  Turnkey full execution is one of our largest selling points due to the vast array of campaigns that we have managed.

What is your preference – mobile or venue activation?  Have you experienced any of the challenges that I outlined?  Please get in touch to discuss.  I would love to hear your thoughts!  I can be reached at

Photo Credit: Jay Clendenin

Louiza Szacon

Manager, Strategic Partnerships

Office: (416) 203-2375 ext. 25 | Mobile: (647) 521-5684 | Fax: (416) 203-2737

Jam Van Inc. | Expose. Engage. Excite!
18 Widmer Street, Suite 100, Toronto, ON  M5V 2E7