Brand Superfan of the Week: Jeep's Kelley Buttrick

The voiceover artist has waged a tireless campaign to do commercial work for the brand--and will not be discouraged by its indifference.

Image by Edwin Hammond.
Image by Edwin Hammond.

"Brand Superfan of the Week" is a weekly feature in Campaign US in which we spotlight an individual who proudly displays their love of a particular brand in everyday life.

Name: Kelley Buttrick
Fandom: Jeep
Age: 46
Location: Athens, Ga.

It's been nearly a year since Jeep launched its user-generated campaign "My Jeep Story" for its 75th anniversary. Jeep's head of advertising Kim House told Campaign that it was vital to let brand loyalists tell its story, rather than some historian who may or may not have owned one of its vehicles. And Jeep superfan Kelley Buttrick took this opportunity one step further.

The lifelong Jeep fan unveiled her own campaign, "KB4JEEP," urging the brand to hire her for voiceover work. The carmaker never did, but Buttrick's entire family still drives their Jeeps—2015 Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (her stepdad), 2012 black Jeep Wrangler (Kelley), 2016 Jeep black Grand Cherokee SRT (her husband) and 2011 silver Jeep Grand Cherokee (their 16-year-old daughter)—and will forever be part of the Jeep family.

Here is her story.

Why do you love Jeep?
Jeep’s four core values of adventure, freedom, authenticity and passion resonate with me on many levels both personally and in my work as a voiceover talent. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m always up for an adventure, enjoy the freedom of creating my own path and am authentic to the core. My passion for the people I love and my industry is evident in everything I do.

What's your first memory of Jeep?
My awesome stepdad built a hybrid Jeep from his old Jeep CJ3 chassis and an army-surplus Jeep Willys body he bought from a Sears catalog. My first experience was riding belted in the back of it, on top of a school bus seat that he bolted in. We’d bounce all over Michigan's Silver Lake Sand Dunes in that Jeep on summer weekends.

How do you show your love for Jeep every day?
I post original content almost daily (sometimes multiple times a day) on social media, sharing not only my Jeep story but the stories of others—all celebrating the Jeep brand and promoting my desire to voice for them.

To draw attention to local and national charities, I created a video series called "Jeep Hair We Care" where we filmed various interviews while driving in my topless Jeep Wrangler.

"Jeep Dog Tales" tells the stories of inspirational Jeep dogs and their families.

Other videos highlight fun aspects of Jeep life, and one shared the unusual intersections between the Jeep brand and the prestigious Peabody Awards.

What's the craziest thing you've done for Jeep?
I’m not sure any individual in any creative industry has ever done anything this crazy or to this extent. In July 2015, I launched "KB4Jeep," a full-scale multimedia campaign pitching Jeep on using my voice.

The campaign went public in 2016 and included 35-plus professionally and self-produced videos, a Jeep-inspired blog, direct emails to Jeep executives and decision-makers at their creative agencies, hundreds of social media posts, voiceover event sponsorships, branded items and snail mail. I recently wrapped "KB4Jeep" and ended up with almost 25 percent of their #MyJeepStory voice on Twitter.

How often do you interact with the brand?
Every day. We own three Jeeps, about to be four when I buy the redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler. We are a tri-generational Jeep family as my awesome stepdad drives a Jeep along with my daughter, and both my husband and I drive Jeep vehicles.

In fact, we brought home our newborn daughters from the hospital in whatever Jeep Grand Cherokee model we owned at the time.

Are you satisfied with the level of engagement you've received from Jeep?
Quite frankly, I’m disappointed. "KB4Jeep"’s original, positive, non-repeated content comprised almost 25 percent of its #MyJeepStory voice on Twitter, yet not one of my stories nor those of other Jeep owners I shared even made it to their My Jeep Story website gallery.

As far as booking my voice, despite the fact many national brands have trusted me with their ad campaigns and other projects, all I’ve heard from Jeep is the message, "If we see a need, we’ll let you know." In other words, "Don’t call us. We’ll call you."

While I’m a superfan, I’m not a fanatic. I’m an experienced professional voiceover talent with a genuine passion for the brand who would love an opportunity to be an authentic voice to share their story.

Still, nothing could make me disloyal to Jeep.

Image by Pitter Goughnour.

What are some of your other favorite brands?
Chobani, Dove, Neutrogena, Amazon, Tide, Apple, Garmin, Etsy, Athens-based Heartguard/Frontline (Merial) and Zaxby’s.


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