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Why JBL worked with Doja Cat to reach Gen Z


By Awards Analyst | writer

December 7, 2022 | 5 min read

Speaker and headphone brand JBL won in the Best Celebrity and Influencer Brand Partnership category at The Drum’s Social Media Awards in 2022. Here we find out what went into the project.


JBL x Doja Cat / JBL

After taking one of its speakers to this year’s Grammys, Doja Cat was named as a JBL brand ambassador. In lieu of creating a campaign for the singer, the brand worked alongside her to curate a message that spoke to her audience authentically.

The brief

Knowing that Gen Z spends on average two hours a day on social media, JBL realized that in order to reach this audience, it would have to do so on the internet-savvy generation's terms.

Fans see right through influencer posts that have #ad or #spon and brands often over-brief and over-edit influencers to the point where the reason for partnering in the first place is lost.

Furthermore, JBL was up against the deep pockets of Apple and Beats, and as the underdog, announcing yet another brand ambassador couldn’t be done with traditional methods that disappear into the noise.

The idea

To cut through, JBL let Grammy-nominated Doja Cat announce the partnership without saying a word, giving her a customized JBL Clip 4 speaker adorned with crystals, and attaching it to her handbag to wear on the red carpet.

From there, JBL let the internet do its job. The brand capitalized on the moment by officially announcing the partnership and engaging with fans’ comments on its social channels. While the fanfare around the Grammy’s would be the trigger point of conversation, it planned to focus on TikTok.

There were three components to the activation: Doja Cat walking the red carpet wearing the speaker, the singer posting it to social in real-time and then JBL leaning in and responding with a duet.

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The results

While getting ready backstage, Doja Cat brought fans behind-the-scenes through a TikTok clip of the star dangling the speaker while being fed chicken, uttering the now brand-synonymous phrase: “Jibble, jibble, jibble”

Millions tuned into Doja Cat’s TikTok channel, making the video go viral. JBL immediately adopted “jibble jibble jibble” as its new social media bio.

JBL achieved its goal of hooking Gen Z and talking about the brand. Doja started the buzz, and the brand kept it going with zero paid dollars and real-time community engagement that led to a 3,000% increase in traffic to from TikTok.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

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