The story of how Yoplait came about began in the early 1960’s, starting with 100,000 French farmers who got together and started a “regional dairy co-op”, who sold their products nationally. A year later, Yola and Coplait partnered up, and made a yogurt that had a unique taste that became one of the most famous yogurt products in the world, Yoplait. In 1967, fresh fruit was added into the mix, and then was introduced to the United States, and Canada is where Yoplait decided to station in 1979. Forty-seven years later, Yoplait has eleven different types of yogurt, and over eighty-five flavors. Yoplait’s slogan and mission statement is “So Goodness”, because the overall image that they strive to show their consumers is that we have goodness in ourselves, in the yogurt they make, and in the way we behave.
Yoplait is a more family oriented company than strictly about business. Yoplait shows this by believing in their employees, product, and consumers. One major thing that the company focuses on is giving back to the community. Yoplait is a huge breast cancer supporter, and has been working together with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for thirteen years. The Save Lids to Save Lives campaign and the Race for the Cure has raised over 30 million dollars across the country. Yoplait also supports two other great causes: Camp Sunrise and Crisis Nursery. “Camp Sunrise is a multicultural organization dedicated to helping urban youth develop the life skills needed to make a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood”(1). Crisis Nursery is a way to bring awareness to the problem of child abuse in our country, and helps create strong, healthy family households. One unique feature about these camps is that personal employees from Yoplait go out to the camps and help out whenever they can. Yoplait has strong feelings for connecting with the community on a personal and corporate level.
Along with helping out the community, Yoplait is trying to make the world a better place by being an ecofriendly corporation. They have done this by creating a new container design that does not use as much plastic and allows them to ship the containers close together. “Doing so has already eliminated more than 2 million pounds of plastic per year” (1). Yoplait states that they want to continue to reduce the amount of plastic they distribute over the next two years by 9 million pounds. Another element that they have taken into consideration is their carbon footprint. Yoplait is looking to merge with local dairy co-ops to supply U.S. regionally sourced, high-quality milk products for their yogurt. Using local dairy farms will reduce road miles and as of right now they have decreased their miles by 1.8 million a year. Having Yoplait work closely with local co-ops can help the co-ops have opportunities to work with other big named companies, as well as get their name out into the world.
Man of Yogurt
Yoplait’s current campaign that is creating buzz all over TV and Twitter is Man of Yogurt. The agency that Yoplait is using for the Man of Yogurt is Zenith Optimedia and Wieden+Kennedy Media. Dominic Purcell is used as the face of the campaign in W+K Portland, Oregon’s Yoplait Ads. The idea of using a tough guy character was to redirect away from using a “smiling yogurt spokesperson”(7). The overall image that the “Man of Yogurt” is trying to convey to its audience is that a tough guy such as Dominic himself can show off his softer side. “Despite the serious look that never leaves his face, A Man of Yogurt doesn’t take himself too seriously, as he uses words like tum-tum and fluffy cloud to describe his love of Yoplait Greek 100” (2). The key point indicators of the Man of Yogurt campaign is to change the image of yogurt from being seen as a snack for women, to advertising Yoplait’s yogurt as a more masculinized snack “that won’t compromise his manhood” (4).
The metaphor of the Man of Yogurt is to display that a man may look tough on the outside, but has a fluffy interior. Yoplait is the first company in the industry to come up with a creative outlook on yogurt by choosing an attractive tough guy for their commercials, making him say words that are more feminine. The overall goals of the campaign are to broaden their target market by reaching out to males and continue to set an example for a healthier lifestyle.
Interaction with Consumers
The Man of Yogurt has stepped up by interacting with consumers by answering questions on Twitter. Interacting with consumers helps keep the persona of Dominic Purcell as the ideal Man of Yogurt. It also “helps personify the brands and helps establish them as the go to source for your men’s yogurt needs” (4). Yoplait received many positive tweets about the campaign, and was very good at trying to respond to as many people as they could.
Yoplait takes their consumer’s ideas into consideration of what flavors they shoule make next.
Yoplait responds to fans as if Dominic is the one who is on the other side of the computer screen. Dominic makes his conversations on Twitter comical by the way he expresses himself. Yoplait does a great job of playing off of comments that people leave on their Twitter page.
Twitter is the only social media platform that Yoplait uses for the Man of Yogurt campaign. Furthermore, there were a few mentions of the campaign on Facebook and Instagram. On Facebook there were roughly twenty-five post that included the hash tag “#manofyogurt”. However, the posts were not all used in the correct context. Here are a few posts that I came across during my search on Facebook:
I noticed that users on Facebook would talk about Dominic Purcell, mention him in a few articles about the campaign itself, make little jokes about the Man of Yogurt, and some even used the Man of Yogurt hash tag along side other non-relevant hash tags to sell WWE t-shirts on EBay. I understand that companies use this tactic to get people to come across their products when using a trending hash tag in a post that is not related to the original search. The hope of this strategy is to distract the users original intent and have them click on the company’s link leading them to an irrelevant website or product. On Instagram there were only ten post accounted for when searching for the hash tag:
If Yoplait were to use other social media vehicles like Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube there would be more engagement and outreach to users across different channels. People make parody videos to make fun of people, brands, and different topics in general that are trending. While researching to see if there were any parodies on Vine and YouTube in particular, there were surprisingly no videos related to the Man of Yogurt campaign. However, there were two videos I found from a few years ago that were making fun of Yoplait by creating the same concept that Yoplait is trying to aim for with their campaign: turning yogurt from a “girly, fruity snack” to also being a “mans snack”. The first video was renaming Yoplait into “Broplait”, and the second video changing from GoGurt into “ManGurt”.
During the campaign, there were no parody videos made. However, many people took photos of themselves eating yogurt, and used the photo to tweet back to Yoplait.
Besides selfies with yogurt, memes were also being invented about the idea of the “Man of Yogurt”, using different celebrities like Harry from One Direction and Terry Crews. Meme’s were also created with photos of Dominic from the commercials, Twitter users tweeting funny comments while using the #ManofYogurt hash tag, and people trying to be funny with making their own hash tags like #manofbeer or #manofoatmeal to name a few. Here are a few collected memes:
Yoplait is always making sure that they are keeping their consumers happy by bringing back favorite seasonal flavors like Caramel Apple, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Apple crisp for the fall. Being involved with charities such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with Save the Lids campaign, that allows consumers to feel like they are a part of something by buying Yoplait’s yogurt, and encouraging Yoplait fans to be interactive with their brand on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to share what flavors people want to see out in the market, or what the consumers want to see comeback.
There are many companies within the dairy industry that are in the same race to be America’s number one favorite brand. Yoplait is the number one American favorite yogurt brand amongst its other competitors, like Dannon, Chobani, and so forth. Ranking at number two is Chobani, number three, Stonyfield Farm Oikos Greek, at number four is Dannon, and lastly Stonyfield Farm Original (5). An article from Food Navigator USA states that “Chobani continues to lead the Greek yogurt category with 37.6% of the market, despite being outspent dramatically by competitors in advertising…after rival Yoplait upped the ante with a new ad campaign claiming Americans prefer the taste of its new Yoplait blended Greek yogurts” (6).
In June 2015, Chobani had a campaign for their Greek yogurt called “Love This Life”, where the advertisement was less about the Chobani product, and more about the lifestyle that their consumers live. Chobani was the first company in the industry to make Greek Yogurt with all natural ingredients, which leads into what the ad conveys their tagline to be: “living it naturally”. In their commercial they used a lesbian couple for a “natural progression of the campaign and integral to telling modern American stories”(8). The company as a whole is all about equality and inclusion, so using a different twist in their ad could potentially help them grow new cliental. Chobani did a great job at using a unique view of incorporating the way people live their lives daily, while still silently advertising their Greek 100 yogurt.
The data listed in the timeline are dates that I have collected from articles, twitter post dates, Instagram, and my personal engagement with the company.
Yoplait is very good at interacting with their fans and listening to consumer’s feedback on social media. Evaluation and measurement process is important with any company. Reviewing chapter ten in our book Social Media Marketing, the Man of Yogurt campaign uses a mixture of the three social media marketing metric matrixes such as the Activity Metrics, Interaction Metrics, and Return Metrics. I also feel that it is appropriate to say that Yoplait does a fantastic job following the DATA approach, with the three overreaching issues that any company might have trouble with motivating, influencing, and accomplishing their objectives. Yoplait clearly Defines what their main objective for the campaign is, and what they want their over all image to be with Dominic Purcell. Assessing the campaign, we can see that Yoplait and W+K Agency made a budget for commercial airtime, social interaction on Twitter, and hiring Dominic Purcell as their spokesman to name a few big spending areas. Yoplait is great at assessing their environment on Twitter and responding back to consumers quickly while displaying message control. For example it only took Yoplait sixteen minutes to get back to me.
Tracking is something that I am not able to see, but as a large company I am sure the company uses Forward Tracking to see how they are doing in the industry, and how past campaigns have worked or not worked before launching a new one. Coincident Tracking can be used for Twitter Analytics to track interaction/post, Google Analytics to track how much traffic is being brought to their website, and also tracking to see if there have been an increase in sales on their Greek 100 Yogurt since the debut of the campaign.
The final step in the DATA Approach is Assessing. The Man of yogurt campaign has been going on for about two months now. Looking at Yoplait’s Twitter page recently at the beginning of November there seems to not be as many posts as there were in October. I decided to go to the source directly, and direct message Yoplait on Twitter to get a couple of unanswered questions answered. I was curious to know if their number of sales in Greek 100 Yogurt have increased over the past couple months because of the campaign, and also wanted to learn if the campaign was fizzling out because I had not seen as many posts by them about #ManofYogurt. This is what I received back from Yoplait:
Even though I did not get all my questions answered, it will be interesting to see how the campaign continues to carry out.
Overall, I feel that Yoplait was successful in the way that they were thinking outside the box in wanting to stand out in the dairy industry. Using a very serious, handsome “manly man” as a spokesman for yogurt gives Yoplait fans and consumers something to talk about. The Man of Yogurt campaign could potentially open itself up to receiving more men consumers buy their products. Yoplait set the bar high for their competition because the campaign is unique, using a man instead of a smiling woman trying to live a healthy lifestyle. The Man of Yogurt is still an ongoing campaign, and I am excited to see what else they are going to do with Dominic Purcell.