Chobani Puts Its Ad Money on Becoming a Lifestyle Brand

ImageIt's not just yogurt. It's a lifestyle. That is what Chobani, the Greek yogurt manufacturer, wants to say with an advertising campaign that starts on Friday. The campaign focuses less on the company's products and more on a broader message about healthy eating and natural living. ''We're going to have one foot squarely in the Greek yogurt space,'' said Peter McGuinness, the chief marketing and brand officer at Chobani, ''and we're going to have one foot leaning into a more aspirational lifestyle space.''
Chobani's new campaign, the work of Jeff Weiss and his agency Opperman Weiss, is built around the catchphrase, ''To love this life is to live it naturally.'' Chobani, which introduced its Greek yogurt in 2007, has long led the category. But competition has stiffened as brands like Fage, Dannon and Yoplait all pursue the Greek yogurt consumer. To distinguish itself, Chobani extolled the quality of its yogurt, using the slogan ''How Matters'' to encapsulate the caliber of its ingredients and its manufacturing process.

That phrase is at the center of a bitter legal battle. Dov Seidman, a best-selling author, has sued Chobani and the advertising agency Droga5, which was behind the company?s ''How Matters'' campaign, for infringing on his trademark for the word how. Mr. Seidman, who is in the business of helping companies create more ethical cultures, wrote a book ''How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything'' and uses ''How Matters'' in some of his materials.

Mr. McGuinness said the decision to introduce a new campaign had ''nothing to do with the pending litigation.'' He added that the company was no longer working with Droga5. Mr. McGuinness said the new campaign slogan aims to capture the ''Mediterranean soul'' of the brand rather than simply highlight the product's quality.

Ads will run in movie theaters, on television, online, in print and on social media. In one commercial, a family walks through the sun-dappled countryside covered in mud, which they all wash off together with the spray from a hose. In another, a boy explains to his sister how yogurt is made using a toy cow and some raspberries, which he smashes with his fist as his sister, unfazed, balances a spoon on her nose.

In the ads, a musician strums the guitar and sings a song, composed for Chobani, about loving life and living naturally. (''The return of the jingle,'' Mr. Weiss said). The yogurt maker is also introducing new packaging, with bigger images of fruit.

Chobani's new ads reflects how an increasing number of companies are shying away from campaigns that promote specific products. These kind of lifestyle campaigns reach consumers at an emotional level, said Allen Adamson, the chairman in North America of Landor Associates, a global brand company.

''Marketers are looking for other ways to stand out from the crowd, and another way is to connect their brand to a lifestyle ''to what they stand for'' Mr. Adamson said. ''A lot of successful brands go beyond just product differences.'' (By SYDNEY EMBER, NYT)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07