Pandora Targets Men With SoBe Lizard, Supermodel Kate Upton

Launches first in-tuner animated video ad

Want to know how Internet radio service Pandora plans to engage its users’ ears and eyes?

With slithering lizards and sexy supermodels—for today, at least.

To promote SoBe's 'Try Everything' campaign, Pandora is launching its first-ever in-tuner animated video ad on its website, but only for a targeted group of men between the ages of 18 and 29.

Say a music-loving guy in that age range pulls up Pandora to change the station from Modest Mouse to Radiohead. When he does, the iconic SoBe lizard scurries across his screen and then a 15-second video of a bikini-clad supermodel Kate Upton begins to play. (The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 Rookie of the Year will star in SoBe’s upcoming “Try Everything” TV ads.)

For SoBe, the playful interactive, created by Anomaly, enables it to directly reach its target audience of millennial men. For Pandora, which just went public earlier this month, the new approach further shows that it can serve compelling visual ads to users in a mostly audio-driven space.

“We’re always excited about finding and developing new and engaging solutions that take full advantage of Pandora’s sight, sound, motion, and emotional advertising solutions,” Heidi Browning, Pandora’s senior vice president of strategic solutions, said in a statement.  “The SoBe ‘Try Everything’ campaign let us have some fun in a new place on our site, around the tuner, which we’ve never done before.”

Like other ad campaigns on the site, Pandora said, the SoBe ads are triggered on a song skip or station change, so you know there’s some involvement on the part of the listener.

PepsiCo, which owns SoBe, and Pandora declined to comment on the cost of the campaign or the estimated reach. But PepsiCo said the 'Try Everything' campaign is SoBe’s largest in years and its first trademark campaign in more than a decade.

The “lizard cameo” on Pandora’s website, which started at midnight Wednesday, is intended to be a single-day event. But banner and audio ads will continue to run on mobile and desktop platforms for the rest of the summer.