Yoplait is mixing an '80s hit, slow-motion technology and a wholesome vibe as it tries to get people to try Plenti, the latest Greek yogurt with added ingredients.
For the nation's No. 2 yogurt seller, owned by General Mills, pairing protein-packed Greek yogurt with ingredients such as whole grain oats, flax and pumpkin seeds is an attempt to stand out in a crowded and growing category.
Greek yogurt, a thicker variety popular overseas for years, continues to grow rapidly in the United States. Chobani, which only sells Greek yogurt products, has been around for less than a decade and already commands 19.1% of the U.S. yogurt market, just behind General Mills with 24.4%, according to data from Euromonitor International. Groupe Danone remains the U.S. leader in the category with a 33.1% share and brands such as Dannon and Activia.
Shoppers are "looking for a more filling yogurt," said Joanna Hargus, marketing manager at General Mills. "We felt like there was a bigger opportunity to really actually create a new brand that stood for this benefit in the category as well, and that's where Plenti came from," Ms. Hargus said.
Plenti is the first sub-brand under Yoplait since GoGurt, which launched in 1999.
The company is using commercials from Saatchi & Saatchi and sampling to get the word out. The new spots, shot in a field outside Barcelona, show what is being called "The Land of Plenti." They use a slow-motion concept to zoom in on what's in the products and to suggest that people also slow down as they eat the products. Directors Bob Partington and Sophie Gateau of 1stAveMachine set up and shot six seconds of content, then slowed down and zoomed in to show the details for the 30- and 60-second ads, Ms. Hargus said. The music comes from the Men at Work hit "Down Under" with rewritten lyrics, including phrases such as "the bowl says come on down to the land of Plenti."
Yoplait will air a 60-second commercial during the Emmy Awards, and will have "significant media" through premier week, Ms. Hargus said. Yoplait is also circulating a behind-the-scenes video from the commercial shoot.
The idea of adding ingredients to yogurt is being implemented in several ways by a variety of players in the category. Dannon's YoCrunch, for example, has a few Yopa varieties with Greek yogurt. And Chobani sells Chobani Oats and has touted the success of its Chobani Flip product, which keeps toppings such as chocolate bits on the side until the customer flips them into the yogurt. "In the first half of this year Flip has become one of the biggest successes in dairy since we sold our first cup of Chobani," CMO Peter McGuinness said in a statement.
Such products are also a way to try to push yogurt beyond breakfast. "Seventy percent of yogurt is still consumed before noon," Mr. McGuinness said in an interview.
Ms. Hargus said the name Plenti came from consumers sampling the product, who described it with words such as substantial and abundant, and "plentiful kept coming up."
It also happens to be the name of an American Express loyalty program launched this spring that includes retailers such as Macy's and Rite Aid. "We know the Plenti rewards program is in the marketplace, but we actually think that once we get more of our presence out there, the consumer confusion will not be something that we're worried about," said Ms. Hargus.