Danone starts a yogurt revolution (kind of)

A national campaign emphasizes natural ingredients and not adding sugar to capture a millennial audience.

danone-2With the announcement of new yogurt flavours, Danone is cheekily comparing itself to major innovation milestones from human history such as the wheel, the moon landing in a new campaign.

The company has also bolstered its digital offerings and highlighted the “no sugar added” element of the new product to appeal to more millennials.

“While we think the new yogurt is bold as a product, we need to keep in mind that it’s still just yogurt,” says Marie-Ève Girard, director of essential dairy and innovation portfolio at Danone Canada, who says that the lighthearted tone was a good way to emphasize the product’s naturally-sourced ingredients and no sugar added benefits.

The TV spot mimics the human achievement milestones with a family (including a pet dog) gaping in awe at a slow motion newspaper reveal of the product’s natural ingredients, shown in an above-the fold announcement, a nod to the Apollo moon landing. The ad then culminates with a blueberry explosion.

Fruit puree is the only thing that sweetens the product, as opposed to sugar or artificial sweeteners that might otherwise be added, which Girard says is why the fruit needed to be front-and-centre in the campaign. She adds that the approach was a bold one, as the product does not taste sweet, but its leading position in the category makes it possible for them to lead with new, low-sugar offerings that align with consumer trends.

A team of 15 social influencers will reinforce the message, encouraging followers to reduce consumption of sugar-added products and touting the benefits of the yogurt.

Compared with previous campaigns, Girard says it is talking to a younger generation, and adding a lot more digital and OOH, emphasizing smaller on-the-go serving sizes to attract the target. Danone is also doing three major activations, which included one at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto that featured a digital takeover of the area’s billboards, with visuals of blueberries bursting from the cup and jumping across three screens, a motif to be repeated in Vancouver and Montreal this summer.

The national bilingual campaign creative features an on-and offline mix of TV, out-of-home,online video , display advertising, social media and public relations. Danone’s roster on the campaign includes Taxi (creative), Wavemaker (media buy), National (PR), Pigeon (brand platform development), Mirum (digital), Bob (shopper marketing and in-store) and Carl (social media)