Lala Wants People to Start 'Yogurting'

Borden Dairy Brand Uses Action and Music in First National Brand Push for Drinkable Yogurt

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LALA Yogurt
LALA Yogurt Credit: LALA/Dieste

Lala yogurt has come up with a new word, "yogurting," to promote its smoothies as the brand's U.S. ad budget and distribution are poised to take off.

The brand, better known in Latin America, has been gaining traction in the U.S. as one of the flagship brands for Borden Dairy. After years as a regional player, Lala is pushing forward with its first national campaign on Feb. 15, focused on the brand's yogurt smoothies.

The product, sold in traditional and Greek styles, hits on a mix of trends in the market right now as people want protein-filled and better-for-you products they can consume during busy days, said Desiree Johnson, director of marketing for Lala USA at Borden Dairy.

In a departure from some yogurt advertising, or perhaps because of it, Lala is not emphasizing the nutritional details of the drinks. "Everybody kind of knows that yogurt is great for you," Ms. Johnson said. "What I believe the yogurting campaign does is make it relevant to a younger audience."

As for what yogurting means, "it's really being able to just grab a yogurt and go. You don't even need a spoon," Ms. Johnson said.

An earlier campaign concept from Dieste that touted "no spoon required" did not resonate as well as the new campaign in focus groups, she added. The new campaign from Dieste shows people with the drinks as they do everything from commuting to surfing.

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While the brand is shown on the screen, the product name is never heard. The commercials were tested with and without the name heard, and the brand felt hearing it "broke the feel of the spot," Ms. Johnson recalled. Leaving the name out gives it "a more youthful feel" that seems more contemporary, she said, adding that "it's important not to be overtly advertising-y" in digital and social, where the work will also be used throughout the year.

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This spring, Lala should be available in about 70% of U.S. grocery stores, up from roughly 30% a year ago, Ms. Johnson said. And Lala is dramatically increasing its budget to help get the word out. She said the marketing budget should be about 200 times what it was last year.

"We've just never had budgets like this," Ms. Johnson said, adding that spending is expected to top $30 million in the first five months of 2016.

Dieste is handling creative for the TV and digital spots. Imaginuity is Lala's digital agency, handling its social channels, including a "#_ing" teaser campaign that has been running for weeks. Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media is the media buying agency. In all, nine spots are planned for the year, including two 30-second ads and two 15-second ads rolling out this month.