The Tuition Toss has been a college football institution for over a decade, and in 2022, Dr Pepper tasked CBS Sports with hyping the competition and driving tune-in to games (during which it was featured) on CBS December 2 and December 3. With $100,000 on the line, to support the dreams and aspirations of students, Dr Pepper aimed to build buzz for the life-changing earnings via a familiar face – Notre Dame legend and CBS Sports analyst Brady Quinn, who was featured in 2021’s program. Of course, in 2022, the goal became to make an even bigger splash and do so by creating highly engaging social-first content that reached a young, passionate Gen Z / Millennial American audience.
To strategically promote the Dr Pepper Tuition Toss, and by extension, the Dr Pepper brand, CBS Sports Digital tapped into our best-in-class SEC football coverage, producing a comedically driven, social-first branded content video. It featured Brady Quinn going head-to-head against the Monarc Seeker – a football throwing robot – in a mock Tuition Toss competition. Renowned CBS Sports anchor Chris Hassel was on hand to call the action, delivering plenty of laughs along the way!
By creating a Man vs. Machine (better yet, “Brady vs. Machine”) type of stunty execution, the content found a home on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube – the three social platforms on which CBS Sports draws its youngest audience, hitting Dr Pepper’s desired demographic. Not only that, we optimized the video for TikTok, producing a snackable cutdown version of the video that included a “what’s happening here” title bumper, stacked horizontal shots, and a tune-in to close the spot.
Meanwhile, we blitzed our audience with the long-form video, distributing it on CBS Sports YouTube (16:9 aspect ratio), CBS Sports Facebook (4:5), CBS Sports Twitter (4:5), CBS Sports HQ, CBSSports.com, and EyeQ Sports video (as pre-roll and mid-roll). Both Brady and Chris promoted the content on their social accounts, and so did the Monarc Seeker.
To make a final tune-in push, we ran the video in CBS Sports HQ programming time on December 2 and December 3, with an anchor informing viewers about the competition, how they can watch it during halftime of the SEC Championship game on CBS, and then tossing to the hero branded content itself.
The “Brady vs. Machine” videos reached our passionate college football audience, and specifically, Dr Pepper’s targeted demo, as buzz for the SEC Championship game hit its peak. The branded content alone drove 7.5 million impressions and 4.3 million video views. It also performed exceedingly well on TikTok, nabbing 150% more video views than the average CBS Sports TikTok post. On Instagram, the video garnered 85% more video views than the average CBS Sports Instagram post. Lastly, “Brady vs. Machine” pulled in a whopping 473K views on YouTube, 36x the average CBS Sports YouTube post.
CBS Sports successfully met Dr Pepper’s goals of A) Reaching a massive Gen Z / Millennial audience, B) Elevating 2021’s branded content execution to make something even more captivating in 2022, and C) Building excitement for the CBS-broadcasted Tuition Toss, and by extension, the Dr Pepper brand, as a whole.