Case Study: Pop-Tarts® Achieves Measurable Mobile ROI Among Teen Audience

Case Study: Pop-Tarts Branded Station

Teens are an elusive bunch for marketers. Even though technology has made it easier than ever to reach them, it’s also made it harder than ever to resonate. Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts® tapped into the passion of music to create a Branded Station on Pandora geared towards engaging teen listeners. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Kellogg’s was also able to attribute actual in-store sales to the campaign – a 3X+ ROI, to be exact.

So how did Kellogg’s crack the teen audience (in a way even they thought was cool!), while also driving incremental sales for Pop-Tarts? Read on.

The Goal:

Kellogg’s faces the challenge of staying relevant in an increasingly competitive category. For the Pop-Tarts brand in particular, the breakfast aisle is riddled with endless options—including cold cereals, hot cereals, breakfast bars, granola bars and more.

To capture consumer attention in this crowded space, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts partnered with Pandora to:

1. Deliver relevant content to teens

2. Activate lapsed buyers

3. Grow sales among existing buyers

The Opportunity:

Kellogg’s aimed to engage Pop-Tarts consumers by delivering relevant content to teens. According to Forrester Research, today’s teens consume content through an average of 4 devices1, making them multi-tasking “ninjas” with extremely short attention spans. This has made it notoriously hard for marketers to capture teen attention through static, traditional advertising platforms with limited targeting.

However, recent studies have shown that teens are choosing to spend their time and energy with mobile and music—especially when the listening experience delivers the self-expression, personalization and discovery they crave. With 1 in 4 teens on Pandora, Kellogg’s chose us as a strategic partner to reach teens on mobile, while also providing interesting music content to drive quality time spent with the brand.

The Pandora Solution:

Utilizing Pandora’s Brand Station Platform, Pop-Tarts and Pandora created the “Pop-Tarts® Crazy Good Summer” station to drive engagement among listeners of ages 13-17 years old. This native advertising solution enables marketers to leverage the shared passion point of music by aligning their brand message with custom audio and video content. Pandora listeners could add “Crazy Good Summer” to their station list in the same way they would any other station to instantly enjoy a personalized listening experience. Within the station environment, Pop-Tarts owned 100% share of voice as the exclusive advertiser.

The station playlist was derived from a list of seed songs and artists that were selected to bring to life the Pop-Tarts brand. Pandora’s Music Genome Project further unleashed the station’s potential with an endless stream of curated music content.

To raise awareness of the station and encourage teens to tune-in, Pop-Tart’s also ran a mix of audio and display media on Pandora across web, mobile and tablet. This not only supported station adds, but also promoted a live concert series that accompanied the program in key cities.


Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer


The Results:

Running from June to August of 2014, the campaign delivered 30 million total impressions among Pop-Tart’s target teen audience. As anticipated, mobile proved to be the most effective channel for reaching teens, and accounted for 60% of the delivered impressions.

Through a partnership with Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Kellogg’s was able to further pin down the actual impact the campaign had on Pop-Tarts sales. By comparing Pandora’s listener information with retailer sales data, the research revealed that consumers who were exposed to the campaign spent an average of $4.09 in-store, compared to $3.81 spent by those not exposed. This translated to an impressive 7% lift in incremental sales for Pop-Tarts, outperforming Nielsen benchmarks by 190%.

Although mobile comprised just 60% of total impressions, mobile contributed to a substantial 70% of the incremental sales. Nielsen Catalina Solutions also confirmed that for every dollar spent, Pop-Tarts received more than $3 in sales, achieving a noteworthy 3X+ ROI for the campaign.

Even after supporting media ended, the “Crazy Good Summer” station still saw significant engagement among Pandora teens. Not only has more than 347,000 listeners added the station to date, but listening time jumped from 69 minutes per listener to 81 minutes. With 15,000 Pop-Tarts brand followers on Instagram and 31,000 on Twitter, this was remarkable traction among their target audience in only 8 weeks. In total, Pandora listeners have tuned-in to the station for more than 465,000 hours—that’s the equivalent of 53 years spent with the Pop-Tarts brand!



1 Forrester Research, “The State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2014, US”, January 2015

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