Danone activates consumers

The foodco has launched a national campaign for its Activia brand of yogurt, urging consumers to vote on whether they buy it for taste or health benefits.

After several years of bellies happily dancing to the benefits of Activia yogurt in TV commercials, the Danone brand has launched a campaign to ask consumers, essentially, if it worked: do they buy Activia for its touted benefits or its taste?

The great Activia National Debate launched this Monday, with in-store promotion, TV ads, a national tour and a campaign makeover of its website this week. With overall campaign concept by Montreal’s Harry and Co., creative by Y&R, media by MPG and experiential by Celsius Communication and Nomad Logic (both of Montreal), the campaign is a 360-degree effort to engage consumers with the top-selling yogurt brand.

The hub of the bilingual campaign is the website, Activia.ca, where consumers are prompted to vote for their preference (taste vs. benefits) for the chance to win coupons and a grand prize of free product for a year. There is also a game testing consumers’ memory of the television commercial, and a video player to watch the commercial on. It is accompanied by, as mentioned, a television campaign and in-store promotion with POS featuring one of two men or two women and a statement on which attribute they prefer. The POS display features flashing lights to attract attention and the yogurt packaging also features campaign logos.

Additionally, the Activia National Debate is on the road with a national tour of grocery stores and Walmarts across Canada. Shoppers will be offered full-sized samples of Activia – as opposed to a taste sample – and will be asked to vote via a hand-held device that will compile votes and add them to the website daily. The goal is not only to garner votes, but to build an email database that can be used to follow up with voters via personalized email, says Alain Tadros, president, Harry and Co.

Tadros said that the campaign dovetails nicely with the Activia ’14-day challenge’ campaign that has been running for several years now. That campaign focused on the health benefits, but research indicated consumers equally buy it for the taste, so Harry and Co. decided to put it to a public vote.

The Activia National Debate concept has also been picked up in Argentina and is being considered for other international markets as well. It runs through the summer in Canada and will be followed up with a post-vote campaign to annouce which attribute ‘won.’