Leveraging Youth Passions as Marketing Platforms

2 mins to read

As brands compete to build ‘fans’ amongst youth, they’re challenged to build a relationship, rooted in an emotive connection. Brands are looking to passion points to create this engagement; aligning brand communication with what youth consumers care about most – sports, music, fashion, gaming, technology, causes.
One of the most popular passions is music, of course. Bloomberg Businessweek recently profiled a few youth-oriented engagement campaigns from 7-UP to Dr. Pepper to Bud Light, to Cadillac to HP, to BlackBerry.
Fist-Pumping Sales: 7UP Joins the Electronic Dance Music Branding Party
By Vanessa Wong, Bloomberg Businessweek
Youth these days just love that electronic dance music. That’s why 7UP (DPS) is now sponsoring EDM festivals chock-full of those all-important millennials and modifying its marketing message to fit with its dancing demographic of choice.
Here’s a look at the original “Un-Cola’s” new dancey-dance commercial with DJ Tiësto:

“EDM has proven to be a great platform for connecting with these consumers,” particularly Hispanic millennials, said Eric Blackwood, director of marketing for 7UP, in an e-mail.
Video: Electronic Dance Music: Just a Fad or Here to Stay?
It’s worth a shot. 7UP sales by volume fell 5 percent last year, according to a company filing. It’s now the 15th-largest soda brand, and competitor Sprite is in sixth, Ad Age reported.
Music and youth marketing have gone together for decades, of course. (Or, in the words of 7UP’s marketing director: “Music is a key passion point for the millennial consumer.”) Soft-drink rivals have their own musical ambassadors to young consumers: Diet Coke (KO) has Taylor Swift; Pepsi (PEP), Janelle Monae. “Dance music sets us apart from our competition in the carbonated soft-drink space,” said Blackwood.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which has featured Dr. Dre working the turntables in earlier ads for Dr Pepper, isn’t looking to bring DJs behind any of its other brands at the moment. But there are other companies looking for a sales bump from the EDM set. Bud Light Platinum (BUD) got Zedd to do an ad this year. (Dollar sales of the beer were down 17 percent in 2013, according to data from Chicago-based researcher IRI):

Despite Cadillac’s 22 percent increase in U.S. sales last year, General Motors (GMstill felt it wasn’t the most relevant brand anymore. So the carmaker put DJ A-Trak in a new spot for the 2015 ATS Coupe:

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) partnered with Clams Casino last year to promote its detachable laptop, as its notebook and desktop PC sales fell due to increased tablet usage:

And who can forget when BlackBerry (BBRY) chose DJ and producer Diplo as its spokesman a few years ago: