Oka wants to make fine cheese accessible

A multiplatform push in Ontario aims to make it "ok" to enjoy specialty cheese during more occasions.

oka-cheeseIt doesn’t have to be a special occasion to enjoy that special cheese. That’s the message the Quebec-based Oka brand is putting out in a multiplatform campaign aimed at the Ontario market.

All of the creative across platforms emphasize that “it’s OK” to indulge in a fine cheese “if it’s Oka.” Radio spots ask if it’s okay to “show your cheese” on a first date, while out-of-home reiterates that “fine cheese isn’t just for dinner parties.” An out of home execution, which launched in April at Toronto’s Yonge Dundas Square asks if it is “OK to eat cheese non-stop for 24 hours?” before a man wakes up to do exactly that, variously chopping it up for lunch, eating it while painting a portrait and making a Popsicle stick house.

Oka has been positioning its brand around versatility, launching its first national campaign in 2017 with a focus on being “a fine choice for any occasion,” when the brand focused on its broad portfolio to boost awareness of its less-known offerings. The brand deviated from that approach in 2018 when it was celebrating its 125th anniversary and focusing on tradition in its messaging. Marie-Josée Létourneau, marketing director for the cheese portfolio at Agropur, says “It’s OK if it’s Oka” is a return to the versatility messaging.

oka-cheese2Létourneau says Oka is well-known in Ontario, but is still seen as a cheese for special occasions. She says the brand “wanted to give people the permission to enjoy the cheese whenever they feel like it” so it could be included during say, lunch or dinner instead of for parties. Its goal, she says, is to make the brand the most accessible specialty fine cheese, and to take the intimidation factor out of the wealth of offerings at a grocery store. Its Toronto billboard execution, she says, was meant to be an attention-grabber and “a bold way to make our point,” especially with younger consumers.

The new campaign, led by agency Lg2, features video, OOH, digital and radio.