BelVita starts well with V

As part of a year-long national campaign, the Mondelez-owned brand is partnering with the Quebec TV station.

BelVita breakfast biscuits is giving a boost to its year-long, national campaign with a Quebec-specific branded content activation, partnering with TV station V’s energetic morning show Ça Commence Bien! to get Quebecers thinking of cookies in the morning.

The partnership with Ça Commence Bien! (It starts well!) targets the brand’s sweet spot of 25 to 35-year-old “life-shapers” in the upswing of their careers and lives. The partnership kicked off Feb. 17 and will run for 14 weeks.

“We found the sweet spot for V really overlaps, not only in demographics, but also in terms of tone and attitude,” says Stacey Biggar, brand manager for BelVita at Mondelez Canada. “It is that kind of young, fun, zest for life that V celebrates with Ça Commence Bien! that really resonates with our brand.”

The branded content push, which leverages the show’s hosts, Richard Turcotte, Lisa-Marie Blais, Patrick Langlois, Andy Mailly-Pressoir and Maripier Morin, taps into Quebec residents’ affinity for local celebrities, Biggar says. Beyond banner ads on TV and the program’s website, each personality has recorded a short, BelVita-branded vignette detailing their morning routines. Those are broadcast throughout V’s programming schedule and as a pre-roll on the Vtele site. MediaVest is handling the media buy for the program.

In addition, users can enter a contest housed on the show’s Facebook page by voting for their favourite morning routine, with winners receiving a wake-up call from one of the show’s hosts. The contest will be promoted via the brand’s, the show’s and V’s social media channels.

The TV personalities will also be involved in two sampling efforts, as they will make a surprise visit to an office in Montreal to hand out BelVita products to employees and be part of a street team dishing out samples outside of V’s downtown Montreal studios.

“We know that a locally-grown celebrity tends to resonate very strongly with Quebec consumers so this was a dynamic opportunity to continue to grow on the strong foundation BelVita has in Quebec,” Biggar says. “This is a unique opportunity to bring [the 'Morning Win' campaign] to life with unique Quebec talent and to leverage the market hold that V already has with Ça Commence Bien!

Biggar says the new campaign is a different approach for the relative newcomer (launched in July 2012), as it tries to deepen consumer understanding and affinity for the brand and its breakfast biscuit products. Its focus on social seeks to engage its target audience.

The push in Quebec comes as a TV spot by New York-based Droga5, “Susan’s morning win,” which launched in January, airs nationally. It is spearheading a Canada-wide effort by the Mondelez brand that includes social, digital, mobile, sampling and in-store support. The brand competes in a new category that has witnessed double-digit growth since its launch, Biggar says. This campaign aims to continue to build awareness for itself as a biscuit (more cookie than sandwich) designed specifically for breakfast, while defending its position against new competitors (such as President’s Choice Oats with Vanilla Yogurt Filling Biscuits for Breakfast) in a relatively new category, that tries to tap consumers seeking convenient, quick breakfasts.

It’s part of a growing trend among brands seeking to create new product categories to play in, like Kraft’s Mio – which essentially created a category of liquid water flavours – as shelf space gets more saturated.

Toronto-based Union and its agency partner, Quebec-based  Über, are responsible for campaign leadership and local activations, including on the brand’s Twitter feed in both French and English, while MediaVest is handling media.

Biggar says the brand will launch more national and Ontario-specific activations throughout the year. While Biggar would not go into details about the brand’s plan, she says an emphasis will be placed on Twitter, echoing the strategy of Mondelez International, whose North American president, Mark Clouse, recently said the brand’s goal is to spend more than half of its budget on digital by 2016.

The campaign builds on the brand’s 2012 launch campaign in English and French, which included a TV spot by CP+B that showcased the biscuit helping a dad get through the morning, sampling, in-store display, digital, couponing, website and search.