For the past four years, Kellogg’s Pop Tarts has relied on free concerts featuring young pop acts to reach tweens, starting with Carly Rae Jepsen in 2012 and continuing with Demi Lovato and Austin Mahone in 2013 and 2014, among others.
But for 2015, the breakfast staple decided to take its pop-music connections one step further by tapping three artists -- Jessie J, Jhene Aiko and Rixton -- for an original song. The result, “Sorry to Interrupt,” quietly debuted on SoundCloud in late May before a lyric video was posted to the brand’s YouTube channel on June 10. To date, the song has received more than 40,000 SoundCloud streams and 100,000 YouTube plays. The song will be serviced to pop radio, digital retailers and streaming services at the end of July.
“We pay a lot of attention to how teens work, and no matter what strategy we have, if we can create something they can fall in love with teens will do a lot of the sharing work for us,” says Aleta Chase, Pop Tarts’ marketing director.
The three artists, booked in partnership with Universal Music Group’s brand partnerships team, will re-team for a free, live concert for Pop Tarts’ Crazy Good Summer program scheduled for next Friday, July 24, at San Francisco’s Nob Hill Masonic center. The concert will be one of Jessie J’s first public performances following an unspecified surgery last month.
Aiko, who had never met or worked with Jessie J or Rixton prior to “Sorry to Interrupt,” tells Billboard of the collaboration, “They were all so fun to work with and had lots of positive energy. I think I added a bit of my style to this song. I'm usually laid back and that is reflected in the music I make. Both Jessie and Rixton are high energy, so I think I balanced it out by adding some chill.”
Crazy Good Summer has helped Pop Tarts post year-over-year sales bumps in years past, an achievement Chase hopes to duplicate with the 2015 program. “We have done significant interest behind this program, which has shown both teens asking their parents to buy Pop Tarts as well as parents being motivated to purchase Pop Tarts for their families as a result of this program,” she says.