How Pop-Tarts Dramatically Improved ROI With Pandora Ads

Smarter data targeting was key

How many mobile ads can actually be attributed to a store purchase? Most brands probably don't know, but Kellogg at least has a bit of data on how its promos move boxes of Pop-Tarts off shelves.

After running smartphone, tablet and desktop ads that promoted Pop-Tarts' sponsorship of the Crazy Good Summer concert on Pandora last summer, the brand analyzed retailers' sales data afterwards to see if people who saw the promo added the breakfast food to their grocery carts. While the campaign ran nearly a year ago, reps said the data analysis took place in the first-quarter of this year.

Kellogg compared Pandora's log-in information with Nielsen Catalina Solutions' sales data from retailers and found that the ads reached 4 million homes. From there, it broke down sales data for people who were exposed to the ad. The average person who saw the ad spent $4.09 at a store compared to $3.81 of the control group, meaning that Kellogg's Pandora ads increased incremental sales by 7 percent.

Kellogg did not divulge the campaign budget, but said those numbers are equivalent to a three-time lift of return on investment, particularly from the mobile ads. Sixty percent of households only saw the ad on a smartphone, but those folks contributed to 70 percent of the increase in sales.

"It's [about] leveraging the insights that we have about audience behavior on Pandora and mapping that to the goals and objectives—and sometimes offline relationships—that the brand has," said Heidi Browning, svp of strategic solutions at Pandora, who credited the campaign's success to millennials who are more likely to see the mobile version of the ad than other generations are.

Pandora also revealed some stats about Kellogg's branded radio station, which served as the hub for the campaign and offered a wide range of popular music. Between June and August, 224,000 people added the station to their Pandora playlists, and an additional 123,000 people added it after the summer. (Branded radio stations stay up after campaigns end.)

Additionally, the average person listened to the radio station for 69 minutes between June and August. After summer wrapped up, that number jumped to 81 minutes.

And yes, Pop-Tarts is pleased by the stats, too.

"The key to the continued success of the Pop-Tarts brand is our sharp focus on teens, and this program is valuable because it reaches our target, and we can clearly measure its impact," said Aleta Chase, marketing director for the brand.