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Chi-Chi?s concocts spicy blend of mobile video, music on Pandora

Hormel Foods? Chi-Chi?s salsa and snacks brand blends American and Mexican cultures as well as mobile video and streaming music in a comprehensive campaign on Pandora that adds spice to the usual humdrum branded station. 

The campaign heavily features the trademarked term Amerimexican to encapsulate a focus on the fusion of American and Mexican cultures. A variety of ad formats, including auto-play video and customized ads, are in heavy rotation on Pandora encouraging listeners to watch a series of humorous videos, listen to a branded music station featuring an eclectic mix of Latin-themed music and access recipes using the brand?s salsas. 

?When consumers are engaged through listening to music, their attitudes are different than when they?re engaging in content through other formats,? said Viji Davis, chief marketing officer at Resolution Media. ?So Chi-Chi?s and other brands benefit from the likes of Pandora because it is a fresh new way to reach target audiences. 

?Pandora can provide brands with the specific audiences they?re looking to target by geo and serve up customized ads - like the ones from Chi-Chi?s - that are more targeted and relevant to the listener, providing a better user and brand experience,? she said. ?The key is not only the benefit the advertiser has through a branded channel on Pandora, but the benefits to the listener/consumer as well.?

Musical interlude
The videos feature a couple named K.C. and Mary in a variety of humorous situations as they try to insert Chi-Chi?s salsa and some American Mexican culture into different social gatherings. 

In one example, K.C. and Mary give each other a pep talk as they try to serve Chi-Chi?s snacks to rowdy tailgaters. 

Throughout the videos, the two are avid supporters of Amerimexican culture and want to share their enthusiasm with others. The Pandora campaign extends this idea as Hormel Foods supports the fusion of American and Mexican cultures with a branded music station that celebrates a wide array artists and genres.

The campaign provides a good example of how a branded station should not simply be a one-off effort as this is likely to fall on deaf ears. The failure to think through a branded station strategy is one reason why a number of brands have tried and failed here. 

Integrated experience
However, when a branded station is well integrated into a comprehensive campaign and makes sense as an extension of the effort, consumers are more likely to tune in. The benefits for the brand are an emotional connection, the opportunity for ongoing engagement if the station is added to a user?s list and a chance to get on the good side of listeners as branded stations have fewer commercial interruptions.  

Viewers can click through from the ads to a landing page where they can view all of the videos and see recipes, pointing to the important connection between food and music and mobile. 

Ms. Davis points to research from Pandora that shows 53 percent of people listen to Pandora in the car on their way to the grocery store, 42 percent are raising their hands for recipes and cooking tips and one in five listen during their shopping trip. 

?Chi-Chi?s branded channel keeps the brand top-of-mind when target consumers are engaged in any of the activities above and the ads they have allow for each of the above,? Ms. Davis said 

?In summary, online radio is growing, and the target audiences are there,? she said. ?This gives brands a unique opportunity to engage with their customers through a variety of emotional touchpoints as well as when they?re on-the-go.?

Final Take?
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York