Strategy Session: How Pop Tarts Is Using Pop Stars and Social Media to Target Teens This Summer

By Alesandra Dubin August 13, 2012, 12:18 PM EDT

Kellogg's "Crazy Good Summer" campaign included a concert from Boys Like Girls, Austin Mahone, and Carly Rae Jepsen on July 19 at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago.

Photo: Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Kellogg's Pop Tarts

This summer, while school-aged kids are away from classes and turning their attention to outdoor fun, Kellogg’s is using the opportunity to grab hold of their eyeballs—and their eardrums—for a targeted campaign.

The “Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer” program resurrects a former “Crazy Good” campaign that began in 2004 and ran through 2008. That program targeted tweens age 8 to 12, and this new version builds on the success of the original to connect specifically with an older age group: teens age 12 to 17. The idea is to offer the new demographic a chance to make summer memories that the teens might forever associate, of course, with the Pop-Tarts brand.

The campaign offers exclusive opportunities for teenagers to experience summer music events through free and upgraded concert tickets, last-minute ticket opportunities, and ongoing promotions on the brand’s Facebook page. Live Nation serves as an apt partner.

The centerpiece of the program is a pair of major concerts with details announced at the last minute through a set of social media clues. Kicking off the campaign, the brand announced a free concert event featuring Boys Like Girls, Austin Mahone, and Carly Rae Jepsen—singer of the summer anthem “Call Me Maybe”—but kept the host city a secret. Teens were left guessing while Pop-Tarts dropped hints on its Facebook page. Ultimately, the company announced that the concert would be held July 19 at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago, an outdoor venue that combined the campaign’s target themes of summer and music. Kellogg's will release details for a second concert down the road.

“The program has been well received by this demographic,” Pop-Tarts marketing director Dick Podiak said. “The recent concert was a great success in attendance, excitement, and engagement on both the Pop-Tarts Facebook and Twitter pages. Social media was the natural place to reach this audience and engage with [the demographic].”

Indeed, social media is a major metric the brand uses to measure R.O.I. “We’ve seen a phenomenal response on all of our social channels,” Podiak said.

The week surrounding the Chicago concert saw huge increases in Pop-Tarts Facebook activity versus the highest seven-day totals from the prior month: a 187 percent increase in people engaged with Pop-Tarts content, a 400 percent increase in total reach, and a 1,350 percent increase in viral reach, according to statistics provided by the brand. The Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts page currently has more than 4.2 million “likes”—off the charts, you might say, for a breakfast-food fan page. For comparison, Eggo has about 821,000 likes. And Rice Krispies, another Kellogg’s brand, has just over 300,000.

In addition to live music, the campaign also includes an ongoing sweepstakes on the brand’s Facebook page, with prizes like “Concert Cash” from Live Nation and last-minute tickets to shows in local areas, plus the “Ultimate Access Pass,” four tickets to any and all Live Nation concerts next year. Further, live chats with artists are intended to drive buzz around “Crazy Good Summer.” A July chat with Mahone garnered more than 7,000 comments.

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