To Reach Millennial Mothers, Viacom Teams Up With YouTube’s ‘What’s Up Moms’

Branded Hershey's spot debuts today

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After helping brands target millennials, Viacom is focusing on a narrower demographic—millennial moms—and teaming up with YouTube parenting channel What's Up Moms to reach them.

What's Up Moms bills itself as the No. 1 moms network on YouTube, where its how-to and comedy videos are viewed more than 19 million times per month. The channel partnered with the branded-content division Viacom Velocity to create three videos that will air on Viacom networks and on both company's digital platforms.

The first video, which also features Hershey's, is an extension of What's Up Moms' "Mom Hacks" series, which launched a month ago. Debuting today on TV Land and Nick at Nite, the spot suggests creative ways to incorporate Hershey's chocolate into one's holiday decorations and festivities.

An extended version of the spot is available online, first on through Dec. 9, and on after that. "That was important to us, for it to live on both places. Part of what we're trying to do is create something that draws our audience to their channel and their audience to ours," said Liane Mullin, president and COO of What's Up Moms.

The other two videos, which will air next year, will feature different marketing partners than Hershey's.

"Millennials are such a big audience, and now those millennials are moms as well. They've grown up with us, they've grown up through our brands, we have good relationships with them, so we're always looking at new, authentic ways to connect with them across all platforms," said Niels Schuurmans, evp, creative, for Viacom Velocity. "It's an important consumer base. We really wanted to pull them out and make sure we were talking to them in a unique way."

That led Viacom Velocity to reach out to What's Up Moms. "One of things we were looking at was, 'Who does a great job in media or in content creation out there, that we love and has the right voice?'" said Schuurmans. "They have such a great attitude and have really tapped into this zeitgeist that had been building." 

As What's Up Moms' YouTube success continued to grow, "it was the right time to start to expand the platform off of just YouTube. TV is still a gold standard, so being on TV was really important for us," said Mullin.

What's Up Moms came up with the idea for using its "Moms Hack" series in the partnership. "The Hack series is getting a lot of traction and it works with anything, whether it's retail or auto. So we love that, but it's not the only format of the creative that we're talking to them about," said Schuurmans.

The two companies worked together to pair down the list of potential advertisers for the first spot, before settling on Hershey's. "What's Up Moms is a very family-friendly brand, so we eliminated a certain number of categories, and then they went out, spoke to their advertisers and came back with a handful of advertisers and said, 'Who would excite you most out of this group to work with?' Hershey's was such just a natural fit, for the holidays especially," said Mullin.

The partnership includes two more videos, which could air on other Viacom linear networks than TV Land and Nick at Nite. "We've invested a lot in data, which is very important for us. So really our plan is to identify where the millennial moms live, and then we'll create content for them across all brands. We're looking at Viacom as a whole, and where millennial moms are engaging with our content," said Schuurmans.

While the partnership only includes the three branded content videos, "we see this as the beginning of a long-term relationship," said Schuurmans. Added Mullin, "Viacom has so many platforms that we can see the What's Up Moms brand growing into." 

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.