Activia shows its pride for ‘gutsy’ women

The Danone brand pivots its equity in the functional benefits of yogurt into a more emotionally relevant positioning.


Danone is celebrating women who defy convention in the latest campaign iteration for Activia, a move to become more engaged emotionally with its target demo.

The yogurt brand’s “You’ve Got Guts” campaign depicts all forms of courage, including climbing an ice formation, giving birth, breaking body hair taboos and even recording a voiceover for an ad when you have a speech impediment.

Éric Maffert, senior marketing director for dairy at Danone Canada, says its mission is to get people to feel good from the inside out, a positioning that Activia has accrued over the past 20 years, built around the functional benefits of active probiotics. Now, it is using that well-trod association with gut health into a play on words that also happens to take the brand in a more emotionally relevant direction.

“We decided to celebrate what women can achieve when they trust their gut,” Maffert says. “We are celebrating women…with the courage to move forward and defy convention.”

Previous Danone brand messaging for Activia has been built around self expression, but the new campaign is also meant to be more inclusive – according to Maffert, the brand saw the opportunity to anchor Activia in a more up-to-date social context. And the play on words still allows the brand to make sure some basic information about product attributes still gets across, especially in-store, where the promise of good health tends to be more of a deciding factor at the moment of purchase.


In July, parent Danone reported North American and European sales increased 6.4% compared with the same reporting period a year prior, experiencing 4.1% volume growth in those regions. During lockdowns, Maffert says Danone has seen at home consumption of yogurt rise, and the whole category has been affected by this reality. What’s remained consistent, however, is tapping consumer sentiment surrounding being healthy and Activia’s unique selling proposition, which is even more important now.

The campaign, created by Lg2, also has a full complement of digital touchpoints to reach its target of women over 25, including Facebook, influencer partnerships on Instagram, and TikTok. Wavemaker is handling media, with a focus on ensuring reach and optimizing conversion.

When it comes to ad spend, Maffert reports its advertising and promotion budget has been increasing 5% year over year for Activia, as it’s a category leader and it’s important to continue to feed awareness to protect its position.