Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and Live Nation are re-teaming for Crazy Good Summer, a concert series that has been expanded from two to three shows this year. Confirmed performers include Owl City and Hot Chelle Rae, who will co-headline the first event in Atlanta in June. Additional events will include Demi Lovato and Chris Wallace in July, with a finale set for August featuring Austin Mahone, Ryan Beatty, Conor Maynard and Bridgit Mendler. Cities for the next two shows will be announced via Pop Tarts’ official Facebook page. The series will support the debut of just-launched Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pop Tarts, the brand’s biggest launch in 25 years, and was booked by Live Nation.
Dick Podiak, director of marketing for Pop Tarts, says the program’s expansion was the direct result of some particularly strong success metrics from the Crazy Good Summer’s 2012 concerts in Chicago and New York, which featured performers like Mahone and Carly Rae Jepsen. “We had over 140 million Twitter impressions in PR, nearly a quarter million new Facebook fans… that’s all great but it doesn’t pay the bills,” he says. “Ultimately those help us build a connection with our fans, and we were super excited to see those results, but we saw about a 5% growth in sales during the quarter when we activated. We’ve had a number of targets over the years, from moms then adults, but wanted to zero in 8-to-18-year-olds and 12-to-24-year-olds using music as a key passion point.”
Part of understanding the teen demo came from Live Nation’s social data from Big Champagne, an analytics firm it acquired in late 2011. Podiak says he didn’t know who Austin Mahone was, for example, when he hired the teen-pop singer to co-headline the first Crazy Good Summer concert in Chicago last year. But Live Nation research coupled with a cursory glance at Mahone’s social media following (2.7 million followers on Twitter, an additional 2.77 million fans on Facebook) quickly convinced him that the 17-year-old might be a better way to reach Pop Tarts’ young target than, say, a band a like Maroon 5 that had more hits on traditional radio but skews older in its audience.
“We’re marketers in Battle Creek [Michigan], so we may not be up on the talent — we were throwing out bands that maybe we knew and were familiar with as opposed to ones that our consumer target knew very strongly,” Podiak says. “Live Nation has helped us understand, ‘Hey, this isn’t a concert for me, this is for somebody who’s my daughter’s age.’”
Booking was led by Live Nation senior VP Rich Levy, and was a combination of Big Champagne metrics and more detailed regional data. “We’re basically looking at every piece of data across our entire company to make those decisions,” says Russell Wallach, president of Live Nation Network, the company’s sponsorship division. “We look at data from shows that we do, talk to our local general managers to actually look at the audience, look at local radio to see if there’s a teen audience in the market, to focus groups with the fans who actually go to shows.”
Not only is the lineup expanded this year, so are the prizes. In 2012, one grand prize winner won a “golden ticket” to any and every Live Nation concert they wished to attend in 2013. This year, Pop Tarts will give away 10 of those prizes — five of which can be found in one of the millions of specially marked Peanut Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pop Tarts, the other five of which will be found on the Airstream Toaster Tour, a sampling event traveling to teen-relevant locations like water parks and Wal-mart parking lots throughout the summer. “We feel combining those two product experience elements are going to keep people involved with our brand all summer,” Podiak says.
Kellogg’s is already so thrilled with its results in music that the company is prepping a larger multi-brand program with Live Nation in the fourth quarter that will likely include the company’s cereal brands. The holiday-themed program will be centered around “the gift of music,” with cross-genre talent still being determined to reach a wider audience than Pop Tarts’ teen focus. “We’re really good at making cereal, not necessarily good at making music. But working with someone like Live Nation can make us smart really quickly,” Podiak says.