Yoplait gets joyful with Yopa!

The brand's new Greek yogurt line is launching with a TV-heavy buy and a strong social presence, as well as a partnership with actress Nia Vardalos.

General Mills brand Yoplait Canada is stirring things up and looking to capture some of the momentum in the growing Greek yogurt category with the introduction of Yopa!, its own line of exclusively Greek yogurt products.

“When we look at markets like the US, there’s still room for growth there, and the Canadian market is two years behind in terms of where the market share is,” says Tammy Sadinsky Martin, marketing director, Yoplait Canada. “But we think the Canadian market is on the same trend as the US, so we felt we needed to launch a brand that’s complementary to what already exists.”

She says the brand will be all about indulging in the joy of Greek culture and convincing consumers that they can find joy when they try the new product line.

Yoplait already offers a Greek yogurt product through its Source yogurt line, and also owns Greek yogurt brand Liberté, but Martin says these existing brands tend to be more premium products, adding Yopa! will look to differentiate itself by targeting a more mainstream consumer with flavours like Ooh-la-la! Strawberry Cheesecake, Lotta Pina Colada and Mmm Mango Tango.

To help promote the launch of Yopa!, Yoplait is kicking off an expansive multi-million dollar campaign that Martin says will be twice as big as the launch campaign for General Mills’ Chocolate Cheerios in 2010. With creative by Cossette and media by ZenithOptimedia, the campaign is targeted at adults aged 35 to 49 who have older children. Martin says Greek yogurt is more often consumed by adults and older children because of its distinct flavour profile.

Martin says the campaign will rely on a 70% paid, 20% owned and 10% earned media split, focusing most heavily on TV spots across conventionally and specialty channels.  The 15-second spots feature traditional Greek settings and vibrant colours as people are overcome with joy when they taste Yopa!

The TV buys are supported by digital efforts, including pre-roll, search and a Facebook domination, as well as blogger outreach and promotions across Yoplait-owned properties like its Life Made Delicious newsletter.

The brand has also partnered with Greek-Canadian actress Nia Vardalos, who will make TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Global, and host Twitter parties to promote the product. To round out the campaign, Yoplait will also be relying heavily on in-store sampling and POS, as well as couponing.

Martin says that although TV is still the most powerful awareness driver for a product launch, social will be key to the campaign, as the brand will try to drive increased trial through social influencers.

She adds that Yopa! is going to be an important strategic initiative for Yoplait going forward, noting that it will get strong spends that are equal to other core brands like Source.

Martin says the Yopa! campaign is expected to run indefinitely and is in the media plans for General Mills until at least the end of the fiscal year. She adds that Yoplait will roll out a refresh of the campaign in January and also look for ways to tie Yopa! to its sponsorship of the Olympics.