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Yoplait's First Campaign for Oui Is Not Your Mama's Yogurt Marketing

By Published on .

Oui by Yoplait plays on its French heritage in the brand's first ad campaign, which focuses on the French girl who gets what she wants, whether that's a jar of the new yogurt or time with her three lovers.

Yes, there are three. And yes, the word lovers is being used in a yogurt campaign.

Oui by Yoplait is General Mills' big bet responding to the explosive growth of brands including Chobani, Noosa and Siggi's in recent years, while more established yogurts including Yoplait have suffered. Last year, Chobani overtook Yoplait as the top yogurt brand in the U.S., according to Euromonitor International. General Mills' U.S. yogurt sales fell 18% in fiscal 2017, which ended in May.

Yoplait says the recipe for Oui, which uses ingredients such as whole milk and sugar and comes in 5-ounce glass jars, is based on Yoplait's Saveur d'Autrefois yogurt sold in France. The campaign stresses those French roots. The woman playing the French girl is indeed French, and so are two of her three lover characters, all of whom have names that begin with Jean.

The tagline seen at the end of the spots is "Say Oui to Pleasure."

There are also playful shots at some cliches, including her choice of pet: a French bulldog.

"People appreciate the French female's iconic style -- her confidence, her control and her celebration of small pleasures every day," says Yoplait Marketing Director Doug Martin.

The ads celebrate what might be seen as a French style of eating: savoring foods made without unfamiliar ingredients.

"The French girl does not eat quickly her yogurt," a French-accented voiceover says in one commercial. In another: "The French girl insists only on food made with simple, delightful ingredients. She has never even heard of GMOs."

The campaign comes from 72andSunny and was directed by Gia Coppola.

A Yoplait Oui print ad.
A Yoplait Oui print ad. Credit: General Mills

"Her storytelling style, her aesthetic, and her playful feminine sense of humor were a perfect fit," 72andSunny Group Creative Director Justine Armour said of Coppola, a granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola. "It was so crucial to capture the true essence of the French girl, while making her relatable and charming to our U.S. audience."

The campaign includes TV, social, digital and print. The bid for a playful feel carries over to the packaging, with lines such as "Keep Smiling" and "Dance in the Mirror" appearing on the peel-away foil that tops the jars.

The main Yoplait brand, meanwhile, is running ads telling women to "Do What Tastes Right" and "Mom On." That campaign is also from 72andSunny.

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