Things get a bit messy in a new brand campaign from Chobani. Centered on the tag "Love This Life," its anthem film opens with a young family -- dad, mom, young daughter and son -- looking a bit worse for the wear as they trudge back to their farmhouse, caked in mud, pulling a calf along. All is not quite right as the woman glares back at her husband when he looks at her regretfully -- we don't know quite why -- maybe he let the calf get away and the kids got lost trying to retrieve it. In any case, there's a nagging tension thoroughout that feels all so very "familial." But here, it's really quite beautiful.
The story unfolds through a series of clever edits that simultaneously play up the conflict but remind the viewer that there's love beneath it all. The man reaches out for his wife's hand -- she quickly pulls away, as the spot quickly cuts in scenes of the couple in a more happy, romantic moment. Meanwhile, it's all backed by a moving, folksy guitar track by Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay, who, oddly, happens to be playing right there on the farm.
Created out of Opperman Weiss and directed by RSA's Laurence Dunmore, the same team on the fantastic Tullamore Dew "Parting Glass" from 2013, this film and others in the campaign showing the kids goofing off and dad talking a break play out like "authentic family moments" but turned up a few cinematic notches. They build off the brand's core belief that "To love this life is to live it naturally."
"We're a brand based on the belief that when you live naturally, you live more fully," said Peter McGuinness, chief marketing and brand officer in a statement. "We're aligning our marketing even closer to that belief, going beyond our naturally delicious food to also focus on the values that define us as a company and the humble but important role we hope to play in consumers' lives. It takes us beyond food, and moves us more into the lifestyle space while capturing some of our Mediterranean spirit and soul."
While the bard character, who appears in all the films, seems a bit of a disconnect that may pull viewers out of the "real moments," he's meant to help "bring a kind of 'Mediterranean soul' to the brand," explained Opperman Weiss Co-founder Jeff Weiss. "It's Greek yogurt, and the category feels devoid of that soulfuless. 'Chobani' actually means 'shepherd' in Turkish." In Mediterranean cultures, there's a great tradition of the "meddah" or "storyteller," he explained, "so we hoped the minstrel's presence would just kind of lay down that soulfulness."
And also, while it seems oxymoronic, the bard character helped to make it feel more "authentic."
"I know that sounds inside out," Mr. Weiss said, "but these are not true stories; these are legends. Because it is so deep and emotive, we thought it better to break the fourth wall, as a Greek chorus might, and admit to the audience that this is not a true story. And for me, it's more honest, more real, by admitting it's a story."
Finally, Mr. Weiss said, the bard "serves as a thread through everything." He'll be "ever present," in more films, radio and other communication.
The TV spots will begin running on primetime tomorrow through May sweeps. The new campaign includes print and a package redesign highlighting Chobani products' core attributes, including non-GMO ingredients and 40% less sugar than regular fruit yogurts.