Bravo's Vanderpump Rules - the #1 watched cable series for the 18-49 demo - is known for its messy drama, chaotic relationships, and some of the most entertaining characters to come out of reality television. The show rocked the fandom -and the world- when it was revealed that cast member Tom Sandoval had been cheating on his longtime girlfriend, Ariana Madix, with their fellow castmate and close friend, Raquel Leviss. And thus, #Scandoval was born.
In a scene from the final episode of the season, Tom explains that one of the reasons he was unhappy in his relationship with Ariana was because he couldn’t remember the last time she bought basic household supplies, such as batteries. The sound bite immediately went viral on social media.
Duracell and its agency partners knew this was a can’t miss moment for the brand, and quickly jumped onto the organic and viral trend of batteries with the following objectives:
Some of the best viral moments come from a brand’s ability to mobilize at the speed of pop culture, and that’s exactly what we did with Ariana. Citizen came together with Duracell’s internal and agency teams – VaynerMedia and EssenceMediaCom – to brainstorm and workshop how to amplify the cultural moment in the most impactful way. While the Citizen team was proactively reaching out to Ariana’s team to quickly get an authentic partnership in place, VaynerMedia was responding to trending TikToks and Instagram Reels in real time, putting Duracell directly into the conversation online.
Once we knew what Ariana was willing to do and what the conversations online continued to be, we quickly came together as a client/inter-agency team to create an idea that would feel authentic to the brand, as well as empowering for Ariana and her legion of fans and followers. We knew that the real opportunity here was to make this timely partnership about new beginnings for Ariana and the importance of not settling for anything less than premium.
The team came together with Ariana Madix to create a highly relevant and super timely social media video that proclaimed she was done with anything basic (alluding to her ex), and like the powerful woman she is, she’s buying her own batteries now. Ariana also seamlessly wove in key brand messages, sharing how she was now looking for something long-lasting and premium that lasts for 12 years – much better than the 10 years of her just-ended relationship. After all, you should always “choose what you know you can trust.” We knew that the myriad of cheeky “Easter eggs” and references to the show would delight Ariana’s megawatt following, and inspire even more engagement and social sharing.
From concept ideation to content go-live, the campaign was pulled together in less than two weeks. The team shot the now-viral video with Ariana on a Monday, edited on a Tuesday and launched on a Wednesday, ensuring we would be in the middle of a still-trending conversation.
The campaign was primarily promoted on social media, where the video was posted to both Duracell’s Instagram and TikTok channels on the day of the Vanderpump Rules Reunion Part 3 air-date – further maximizing this cultural moment-in-time. Additionally, Ariana published the content on her high-reaching Instagram and TikTok social media channels following the reunion to directly target her loyal fans and followers.
To capitalize on the video’s viral momentum on social media and further capture the attention of #TeamAriana Vanderpump Rules viewers, EssenceMediacom coordinated a paid media flight to amplify the campaign video on Bravo fan-favorite streaming services Amazon and Peacock.
The Citizen team distributed the campaign content to relevant celebrity/entertainment, lifestyle and trade media, targeting reporters and earned media outlets already tapped into the Vanderpump Rules world and Ariana’s journey.
The Citizen team additionally sought out thought leadership opportunities for Duracell to talk about this best-in-class newsjacking execution, and coordinated an executive case study interview in leading trade publication, PRWeek.
From the talent partnership and negotiations, to brilliant scripting and “Easter egg” references in the video, to the incredible earned coverage and fast targeted paid amplification of the content, this was a masterclass in collaboration, agility and speed. As a result, we now have an army of new fans who are not only thinking about Duracell – but pledging brand support, too.
Directly reaching Duracell’s target audience, the Citizen team secured features in notable millennial women’s lifestyle media publications including Betches, Coveteur, E! Online, PerezHilton.com and The Morning Toast, as well as campaign mentions in top-tier national news publications such as CNN, INSIDER and USA Today for maximum exposure. Citizen also coordinated pieces in influential trade publications PRWeek and AdAge, the latter of which featured our campaign as one of the “Top 5 Celebrity Brand Partnerships of 2023”.
To-date, the partnership with Ariana Madix has earned 96 U.S. editorial placements for a reach of 6.7 billion impressions, with an estimated Ad Value of more than $62M.
On brand social media accounts, Duracell’s collaboration video has received over 23.9M views, 10.5K shares, 2.2K comments and 113K likes on TikTok, with an additional 4.5M views, 81.3K shares, 4.5K comments and 118.4K likes on Instagram.
The collaboration video was additionally published on Ariana’s social media accounts for an additional 2M views, 8.9K shares, 2.6K comments and 235K likes on TikTok, and 2.5M views, 24.4K shares, 8.2K comments and 206.4K likes on Instagram.