Jennifer Lopez is working with Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) as chief creative officer and majority owner in Viva Movil, a mobile retailer Verizon is using to target a growing Latino demographic.
Lopez and Verizon are looking to tap into the U.S. Latino market, which has $1.2 trillion in purchasing power. The goal of Viva Movil is to provide a different customer experience for Latinos. Stores will include bilingual staff, a play area for kids, and the opportunity to try out different devices. Lopez discussed her vision for Viva Movil at a press conference with Verizon, saying that Latinos “do things differently, including how we shop for wireless devices. We will provide a new customer experience.”
The first Viva Movil store will open in New York City in June, with 15 more planned for the year in cities such as Los Angeles and Miami. Viva Movil will also sell from its website. For now Viva Movil will carry devices already offered by Verizon, but we can expect a line of J.Lo-crafted products down the road.
The collaboration between Lopez and Verizon comes on the heels of a similar announcement from the struggling BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY). Last month BlackBerry named singer Alicia Keys as its creative director in an effort to turn around the company’s fortune. Keys made a well-received PowerPoint presentation at one of the five marketing meetings she attended.
Keys’ goal is to help BlackBerry compete with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to become the number three mobile platform in the U.S. BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins has said that the company has had to undergo major changes just to stay afloat, but he’s hopeful about the collaboration with Keys and new BlackBerry 10 phone. “What I can say is, 12 months ago I was told we would be out of business and we would have burned through our cash within two quarters,” Hein says. “It didn’t happen. What we did is innovated. We are confident in the future of BlackBerry 10.”
Many analysts have viewed BlackBerry’s move with some skepticism, having already written off the company as a whole. The collaboration between Verizon and Lopez seems more hopeful, with the enormous Latino market currently being ignored by cell phone providers.
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