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DanActive launches strong campaign

Danone Canada targets ‘self-realization seekers’

Danone Canada has put aside gut health in favour of fortitude as part of a new global marketing campaign for its DanActive brand.

Genevieve Bolduc, senior brand manager for Danone in Montreal, says the new “Stay Strong” campaign is intended to make DanActive stand out in the crowded yogurt category, where so much of the messaging is now focused on functional benefits.

“[We wanted to become] a much more emotional brand, and tap into something bigger than being just a probiotic yogurt,” says Bolduc. “The message of positive resilience has resonated in every country, and Canada is no exception.”

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Bolduc says the campaign aims to convince Canadians that consuming DanActive at breakfast gives them everything they need to face the day. “If you can kick-start your day in a good way, then you can face everyday challenges,” she says.

The campaign includes two 30-second TV spots, “Teach On,” and “Farm On,” featuring a teacher and a farmer who get through their day with ease after consuming DanActive. The spots are sound-tracked by the Bee Gees hit “Stayin’ Alive” and the Aerosmith song “Walk this Way” respectively.

Danone has also introduced a series of online videos featuring a fictional folk band called the Stay Strong Brothers (the French-language ads also feature Quebec comedian Jeremy Demay) who sing short songs that address situations where viewers might need to stay strong such as surviving a Monday morning or being stuck in traffic.

“Train Track,” for example, humorously rhymes off all the fates worse than being stuck on the subway (“I could be glued to a toilet or married to a horse”) while another, “Mr. Referee,” is aimed at beleaguered sports officials.

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Digital billboards in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary are also featuring contextually relevant ads. “A Toronto ad appearing on a cloudy day, for instance, featured the message, “Forecast calls for golf ball-size hail,” accompanied by the “Stay Strong” tagline.

The campaign is not aimed at a particular demographic, but a group Bolduc describes as “self-realization seekers” who want to get more out of life. “They want to get out there and push their way through,” she says.

This is the first time Danone has targeted its marketing towards a consumer mindset. “It opens up so many more opportunities versus being stuck in age or a social demo,” says Bolduc. “In 2016 it’s really the time to focus more on behaviour than get stuck in demographic targets.”

Danone Canada recently reformulated the DanActive brand to create a creamier texture after research found that some consumers found it too watery. There are no new additions to the product line, which is currently comprised of six SKUs (plus two available exclusively at Costco).

Canadian sales of DanActive fell to US$58.6 million in 2015 from US$67 million in 2014 according to research firm Euromonitor data. The brand controls an estimated 2.7% of the Canadian yogurt market.

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The six-week campaign by Y&R (adapted by Saint-Jacques Vallée Y&R) launched in 15 global markets on June 6, and has already contributed to a 30% lift in year-over-year sales for DanActive in Canada, says Bolduc.

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