March 22, 2019

Media Decoder Blog: Greek Yogurt Touts Appeal of the ‘Real’ Thing

Chobani, the Greek yogurt brand that has enjoyed explosive growth, is opening wide its corporate wallet to rapidly expand a marketing initiative that began last month during the ABC broadcast of the Academy Awards.

The initiative, which carries the theme “Go real,” is expanding into realms that include print and digital advertisements; the brand’s Web site, chobani.com; and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Chobani will spend about $30 million in the next eight to 10 weeks on the initiative, said Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani who is the company’s president and chief executive. One goal of the initiative is to promote Chobani as a “simple, pure food,” he added, and demonstrate that it is possible for a food maker to “leave food alone” and “keep it simple, keep it real.”

There is another goal, according to Mr. Ulukaya: to compare Chobani with the increasing number of Greek yogurt brands that are being introduced as Americans take to the product.

“A lot of people are coming into the category,” he said, “and we want consumers to understand what real Greek yogurt is” – i.e., Chobani.

By using the word “real” as a synonym for Chobani, the ads can go after the other Greek yogurts – as well as regular, non-Greek yogurts — without seeming too negative or like a political attack ad. Take, for instance, this headline: “Real is crafted, authentic and simple. Just like yogurt should be.”

Other examples include ads with headlines like these: “Real gives regular yogurts protein envy,” “Real is more filling, less filler” and “Real makes simple ingredients taste simply indulgent.”

In social media, consumers are invited to use a hashtag for posts on Twitter, #tastereal, and “share your first taste of real” with friends and family.

The social media aspects of the campaign are being handled by Big Spaceship, an agency in Brooklyn. Boathouse, an agency in Boston, recently became the creative agency for Chobani, replacing the New York office of Leo Burnett, part of the Publicis Groupe.

“Chobani is not a company that talks at the customer,” said John Connors, chief executive at Boathouse. “It’s a conversation.”

The conversation includes letters, posts in social media, e-mails, photographs and other such communication from customers, Mr. Connors said, adding that the “Go real” theme was inspired by those messages. To reinforce the theme, he said, actual Chobani customers are appearing in the ads.

When Mr. Ulukaya discussed the casting, he declared the ads feature “real people, all of them.”

“Real horses and real dogs,” he added, laughing.

Chobani is by far the No. 1 brand in the Greek yogurt subset of the yogurt market, with more than twice the market share of the No. 2 brand, Dannon Greek yogurt.

Article source: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/greek-yogurt-touts-appeal-of-the-real-thing/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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