- Pandora is launching a campaign with PepsiCo's Propel water brand that is a first for the platform because of how it embeds on-demand streaming into an ad, according to Adweek.
- The campaign is based on three branded stations sponsored by Propel that, in another first for the internet radio platform, are curated by fitness influencers, Susan Panico, svp of strategic solutions at Pandora, told Adweek. Pop musician Jessie J also created a custom song called "Get Ugly" for the effort.
- The full campaign additionally includes digital video on Propel's social media channels and cross-promotion with retailers including Albertsons, Safeway and Target, where consumers who buy more than $3 worth of specially-marked products can receive a two-month subscription to Pandora Plus valued at $10. Gina Hardy, senior marketing director of Gatorade at PepsiCo, told Adweek that adding an offline channel element to the music promotion was "a little new" for the brand.
Pandora has been shaking up its business model for users as well as building out advertising options as it looks to compete with streaming music competitors like Spotify and Apple Music. Embedding on-demand branded stations into ads offers a chance for Propel to engage a highly-targeted, relevant audience — workout enthusiasts — and build a connection through the often more authentic-feeling channel of influencer marketing.
The program also continues what's been a healthy relationship between Pandora and Propel. Pandora has played a critical role in putting Gatorade's fitness water brand back in the spotlight after a period of being relatively low profile, including with sponsored stations and marketing innovations like gyroscopic ads.
Pandora has struggled with some stagnant user growth recently, according to Bloomberg, and offering a more tailored listening experience might attract fresh ears to both its free platform and its premium subscription offering. Pandora building stations around different audience segments echoes Spoitfy's Branded Moments vertical video format, which also attempts to hit audiences around particular times of the day like workouts.