/// What Pepsi Discovered by Monitoring Millennials During the VMAs

November 25, 2013  |  Media Week

As a brand that has long had event sponsorship at the heart of its marketing formula, Pepsi sought a more scientific way to study the correlation between TV viewing and second-screen usage during live programming. So using research methods such as biometrics, the brand looked at consumer behavior during the MTV Video Music Awards telecast this past August—the top-rated entertainment program on cable among viewers aged 12-34 this year, and the most social non-sports TV event. What emerged were some surprising differences in media usage among millennials. During pivotal moments of the show—like Miley Cyrus’ twerk-tastic duet with Robin Thicke (which generated a record 360,000 tweets per minute)—consumers 18-26 immediately shifted from TV viewing to second screens. Meanwhile, those aged 27-34 stayed with the telecast, waiting to engage in social conversations. “The younger group already had their hands ready and immediately went to social media to start talking,” said Chad Stubbs, senior director of marketing at PepsiCo . “The show ebbed and flowed, and a key thing we learned was having a brand message throughout the show was important,” he added. “In the past, maybe we said we would need a big part at the beginning or the end.” Carolyn Kim, associate director of business intelligence at Pepsi agency OMD , pointed out that while there is not a wide disparity of ages among the millennial set, continual advances in technology have led to behavioral differences among those consumers.

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What Pepsi Discovered by Monitoring Millennials During the VMAs

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