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General Mills, Yahoo target video-hungry millennials with live esports coverage

General Mills is the latest sponsor of Yahoo Esports Live, a new weekly live-streaming show covering the world of esports, underscoring live video?s ability to connect brands with younger consumers.

General Mills, through its Reese?s Puffs Cereal brand, will sponsor the show, which airs on Yahoo?s mobile and desktop sites. The program aims to capture the growing demand for live streaming video, especially among the tech- and mobile-savvy gamer demographic.

"More than ever consumers are tuning into live video online and we know that these viewers are highly engaged," said Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer of Yahoo. "Viewers like the convenience of watching this live content across screens and they are more likely to be emotionally engaged.

"With Yahoo Esports Live, brands like General Mills have a new opportunity to connect with esports fans, especially millennials, around this unique programming."

Live from Yahoo
Every Monday at 3 p.m. PST, Yahoo Esports Live will air two half-hour shows entitled ?Late Night League? and ?Tilted.? The programs will cover the wide world of esports and will be streamed live through Yahoo?s mobile site.

?Late Night League,? hosted by Mark Zimmerman, will follow all the latest news from the esports world and cover it in an in-depth fashion. ?Tilted? will be structured more as a roundtable discussion with a rotating panel of experts and commentators.

Reese?s Puffs will be extending its ?You Either Love Them or You?re Wrong? campaign to its Yahoo sponsorship. The campaign juxtaposes people who like Reese?s Puffs and the people who are ?wrong.?

The campaign, and the sponsorship of an esports live show, may appeal to millennials, who are a valuable demographic for the cereal brand. In addition to sponsoring the content, Reese?s Puffs will also run advertising spots during Yahoo?s live coverage of the annual Esports Live One New York tournament in October.

"We know that on average people spend over four hours every day on their mobile devices, and there's a big opportunity to engage this audience with video," Ms. Utzschneider said. "We have a focused video strategy, which includes live programming, and we want to deliver the best possible experience to our users across devices."

Video resurgence
Yahoo has been intensifying its commitment to live video in recent months as a way of reaching out to an increasingly connected audience. Esports, with their popularity with millennials and tech-savvy consumers, represent the perfect field for Yahoo?s live-streaming ambitions.

Reese?s Puffs, a brand not traditionally associated with mobile-connected youths, is using the partnership as a way to situate itself as a part of the esports zeitgeist. This could be another stepping stone in General Mills? overall strategy to diversify its audience and disseminate its many brands to consumers in the digital world.

General Mills just recently announced the Box Tops Bonus app that takes its popular Box Top fundraising initiative and makes the whole process doable through mobile devices (see story).

Video is also making a bit of a comeback. With the popularity of Facebook Live, Twitch and YouTube, brands have more opportunities than ever to get their message out in front of video-consuming audiences.

Last week, E! News debuted its first Snapchat show, ?The Rundown,? which was also targeted towards video and social media-obsessed millennials (see story).

"With this new campaign for Reese?s Puffs, General Mills is tapping into the power of live video to reach and entertain a very important audience of millennials on Yahoo Esports, around this exciting new content," Ms. Utzschneider said.