Pepsi & Pandora Link On Personal Digital Radio GRAMMY Content

Madonna’s Super Bowl half time show may have racked up viewing figures that outshone the game itself, but the real music-marketing showcase is the GRAMMY Awards. Perhaps the most interesting activation from this year’s sponsors came from Pepsi.


Pepsi, the official beverage partner of the GRAMMYs, is a new partner to the US’s biggest music awards event and used its new right to try and bring a unique experience to its consumers and music fans through GRAMMY-nominated artist content.


Pepsi joined forces with personalised online radio outfit Pandora to offer a multi-layered campaign that aimed to harness the GRAMMYs excitement. The joint initiative is built around providing customised access to GRAMMY-related music content through Pandora’s radio service. The campaign collated a GRAMMY mix tape and 12 GRAMMY genre radio stations based around major musical styles.


Both of these strands feature music from nominees including Giant Step, Adele, Robyn, Femi Kuti, Daft Punk, and Corrine Bailey Rae.


The partnership also debuts an artist video series in early 2012. The Recording Academy, Pandora and Pepsi presented an exclusive “Best New Artist” video series on Pandora.com. This GRAMMY artist video series features exclusive interviews with select 54th GRAMMY nominees. The videos provide an inside look at the artists’ experiences as they prepare for music’s biggest night.


Another element of its activation was the Pepsi Presents ‘5 Questions With .’ – a Q&A style interview series on the GRAMMY.com website that gives fans the online opportunity to discover potential GRAMMY nominees and winners.


Pepsi also included a hospitality element in its campaign, with a Friday night party, titled “We Heart Pop”, where such guests as Nicki Minaj, Melanie Amaro and Kevin McHale all appeared.


During the Grammy TV show itself, Pepsi was featured before commercial breaks in ‘custom interstitials’ blipverts promoting this year’s best new artist nominees.


The soft drinks giant also aired an expanded 90-second cut of its “Pepsi for All” TVC – first seen at the Super Bowl, starring X Factor winner Amaro and Elton John.


“Music and entertainment are at the core of Pepsi’s brand and we are excited to partner with Pandora and the GRAMMY Awards to create exclusive content and deliver one-of-a-kind of experiences to music fans,” said Tom Moradpour, Senior Director, Pepsi.


“We’re excited to work with Pepsi to help fans reflect on the past year in music entertainment,” said Pandora Chief Marketing Officer Simon Fleming Wood. “With Pepsi’s help, we are bringing fans a bit closer to their favorite GRAMMY-nominated artists and at the same time helping them discover and rediscover the music they love for any moment, mood, and situation.”


“As we count down to Music’s Biggest Night, we are proud to partner with dynamic, like-minded brands committed to ensuring availability of a wide variety of GRAMMY music to music fans where they live and breathe,” said Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, The Recording Academy. “We are thrilled to harness the combined power of Pandora and Pepsi to help drive this vision forward.”




Pepsi’s GRAMMYs activation certainly neatly links it other music/TV related properties and ambassador relationships – particularly X Factor.


It’s link to the year’s best new artist nominees helps emphasize its connection with what’s new in pop culture and solidifies the brand’s long term positioning as the choice of the new generation.


“We’re having a lot of fun with music, “Pepsi VP marketing Angelique Krembs. “It’s very easy for Pepsi, it is part of the brand’s DNA, so we’re extending that through the Grammys, the place where music really is celebrated.”


One of the challenges for social media interaction with the GRAMMYs is the CBS broadcast’s time delay. Twitter, for instance, is a real time channel and sponsors activating around the show through social channels faced the hurdle that many viewers already knew the winners before the show’s own action and announcements.


So by harnessing digital radio as an online channel partner Pepsi avoided this issue.


However, TV-specific social media tracking company Bluefin Labs actually claims that the 2012 GRAMMY was the most social event in television history. According to Bluefin, the GRAMMYs generated 13 million online comments or social media messages over the length of the broadcast. Dwarfing last year’s total of 546,000 and even outstripping Super Bowl XLVI.







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