Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 7, 2009 10:57 AM
Ever since its introduction in late August, the Chase Sapphire card has been hunting for affluent consumers ready and willing to spend again. Sapphire's rollout has pursued a highly targeted media strategy, to which Chase is now adding a unique co-branded weekly film series on the Sundance Channel starting October 7, MediaPost reports.
Why Sundance? Because this trendy channel, started by Robert Redford as an offshoot of the Sundance Film Festival, has cachet. Sundance airs independent films that appeal to a well-heeled viewing audience. The new seven-week Sapphire-sponsored series and companion website will be called "Official Selection: The Tastemaker Series," highlighting trend-setting artists and filmmakers.
Sundance stands to gain from the relationship because it could use a few hefty advertisers. Despite its vanguard reputation for original shows and quality programming, the channel was a money-loser for NBC Universal, which (along with minority owners CBS and Redford) sold it to Cablevision last year for $496 million.
JP Morgan Chase, meanwhile, has invested some $30 million in measured media to promote the Chase Sapphire brand, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The card is using prime time television, supplemented with select high-end print, to target U.S. households with incomes of $120,000 or more. The Sundance deal isn't Sapphire's first foray into branded media: it was integrated into four popular Travel Channel programs.
The Chase Sapphire card includes a range of benefits, but its primary pitch is reward points with no restrictions on usage or timeframe. JP Morgan Chase must be banking on the card's success -- the financial services giant lost $672 million in the second quarter. It announces third quarter results in about a week.