Pop-Tarts, the toaster pastry line marketed by Kellogg, partnered with Gen Z multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade to help students customize their back-to-school gear, according to a news release.
The two will host a pop-up experience in Los Angeles on Aug. 13 where select visitors can deck out items such as backpacks, skateboards, notebooks and sneakers in Pop-Tarts-inspired art. The event, with planned guests like actor Storm Reid, will also offer Pop-Tarts x Lyrical Lemonade merchandise, including the packaged foods marketer's first collaborative pastry.
The Pop-Tarts x Lyrical Lemonade Toaster Pastry will also hit the media brand's website on Aug. 14. The push, which builds on a "What Would Pop-Tarts Do?" platform introduced earlier this year, attempts to stoke excitement for an uncertain return to classes.
Pop-Tarts is trying to round out its pitch to crucial Gen Z consumers through the partnership with Lyrical Lemonade, a collaborative first for the Kellogg brand. The multimedia company founded by 26-year-old Cole Bennett has scored attention for its music video work for high-profile artists such as Post Malone and Eminem, with a YouTube page that's generated more than 8.2 billion views and commands 18.2 million subscribers. Pop-Tarts is leaning into Lyrical Lemonade's wide social following and cultural appeal to engage an audience that might otherwise be hard to reach.
Lyrical Lemonade posted the news of the limited-run Lemon Creme Pie flavor to its Instagram late last month, generating more than 115,000 likes within 24 hours, according to additional details emailed to Marketing Dive. An accompanying video preview of the box art drew more than 550,000 views. Thematically, the campaign and pop-up experience aim to hype up students for the return to in-person classes and activities in the fall.
"It's been a while since everyone has been back together in school, and we loved the idea of collaborating with Pop-Tarts to get creative and make that first day back amazing," said Bennett in a press statement.
But the COVID-19 delta variant could upset some of those initiatives as cases surge around the U.S. Some marketers might start to reassess their campaign strategies as messages of optimism and excitement grind up against fresh restrictions and a souring national mood.
The Lyrical Lemonade tie-up is part of Pop-Tarts' efforts to build out a more robust digital strategy. The pastry line ran the first TikTok challenge across Kellogg's U.S. brands in May, bringing on creators like Michael Le to support its new "What Would Pop-Tarts Do?" platform that encourages consumers to break from everyday conventions. It has also sponsored a School Night Out series of livestreams on Twitch that try to make "staying in feel like going out," with appearances from a variety of musical artists.
Kellogg broadly is investing more in digital and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels to account for pandemic-driven shopping habits and an uptick in at-home snacking. To celebrate its centennial this year, the company's Cheez-It line of crackers recently set up a DTC shop that sells merchandise and exclusive snacks. The commerce play intends to help Cheez-It speed up the introduction of product innovations and collect customer feedback in real time.