I’m not a football lover. I admit that proudly. GO YANKEES! In fact, I refuse to conform to the big hype about the Super Bowl, per usual, because then I’d be a poser, like most women with boyfriends and a sudden devotion to wings and Sunday night football games are.
However, I will say with certainty, that I’m an advertising lover—and foodie. So the Super Bowl to me is all about the two “Cs.” And ironically, no, not Coca-Cola. I don’t drink soda.
But back to the ads. I stumbled upon an article on LinkedIn about Coca-Cola. This year their ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy, is featuring the brand’s iconic polar bears on a microsite, CokePolarBowl.com. The site will be a real-time outlet for the Coke polar bears to watch and react to the game. You can sign up to celebrate with the polar bears via a Facebook app, and with every RSVP, Coke will donate $1 to World Wildlife Fund. Coke will also run two TV spots during the game, “Superstition” and “Catch,” so be sure to keep an eye out for the big bears on the screen, or should I say, ice.
With the obvious flourish in social media, people
want expect the ability to simply join in on the conversation. All. The. Time. Take a look at the bottom right hand corner of your TV screen during most prime-time shows, if you don’t believe me (#Idol, #Revenge, #ONCE, #Chopped, #etc). It’s almost become subliminal. Thanks to Twitter, a single hashtag (#) has the power to generate global dialogue that synchronously unites friends and complete strangers. Take that same, single hashtag, and say Bieber tweets it. Suddenly, a mere thought, feeling, or expression becomes a “trending topic” (TT), further coaxing real-time, worldwide conversation. Unbelievable how far we’ve come, isn’t it? #ilovetechnology!
No matter how opinions may coincide or collide, people feel a need to voice their thoughts and want desparately to be heard. The article cites that “60% of people watching the game plan to have a second screen running—whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone.” And with Fox’s record-breaking average of 111 million Super Bowl XLV viewers in 2011 (guardian.co.uk), any smart brand will leverage the game’s captive audience by increasing their digital presence. And by doing so in a unique and engaging way.
Vice president of creative excellence for Coca-Cola, Pio Schunker, said, “The object is to have consumers associate the brand with the good feelings they have around the event. It’s not about selling Coke. It’s about selling moments.” #wellsaid.
I’m lovin’ Fage* Greek yogurt. Delicious taste, unique flavor variety, and more important are the health benefits compared to your traditional non-fat yogurts: less calories, less sugars, less carbs, and more protein.
You may or may not know the Fage brand. That’s because it’s not quite as mass distributed or commercial as your classic Chobani, which a notable majority would associate with Greek yogurt in a name-brand recognition test. Tissues—Kleenex! Greek yogurt—Chobani! You get the picture. (And for the record, you’d be in a one-person minority if you said Puffs for tissues. The only Puffs worth knowing are arguably those Cocoa ones. But per usual, I digress…)
What I want to note about Fage is the product’s packaging. On every container it says “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” (Exclamation point included). My question is, does the marketing strategy behind it work? And I would have to argue yes. It does. Every time I grab a pack—and preferably it’s cherry-pomegranate—I’m unobtrusively called to read the subtly placed text in the “power left” corner: “Fage—pronounced: Fa-yeh!” To the point where the brand name, and critical pronunciation of it, of course, stick. It gets me talking about the brand. I grab a snack pack at lunch. My rapid reply to the “What’s that?” across the table? “Fage Greek yogurt,” feeling compelled to elaborate, “F-a-g-e. But it’s actually pronounced Fa-yeh! They put it on the package too.”
Most probably don’t care to master the pronunciation of a brand of yogurt, but for me, the fruit-at the-bottom of this post lies in the brand’s marketing strategy.
A simple note about pronunciation on the packaging gets consumers talking about the brand. And what company wouldn’t want that? To build brand buzz that puts Fage on the eye-level shelf, if you will, and distinguishes it from Chobani.
I think there’s a great opportunity here—especially since I personally haven’t seen a Fage commercial since…well, ever. Although, after a little research, I found that in early March 2011, Fage debuted its first series of TV advertising in North America—taking its plain flavored yogurt to a new level: “plain extraordinary” (via Mullen, ad agency). I’ll give the commercial props on its overall design, as some of the graphics are aesthetically pleasing. However, I think Fage could put a little bit more extra in the ordinary by focusing its advertising campaign perhaps on the pronunciation of the yogurt, instead. The goal? Make the brand name stick. A humorous approach could work, if comedic messaging resonates with Fage’s primary target market. And on that note, I wonder what type of consumer Fage is actually trying to reach—since determining who to target typically comes before the how. I’d say the demographic is 20-35 year olds, at least: active, health-conscious consumers, with an interest in more nutritious alternatives to common, every day snack foods. Admittedly, an educated speculation.
So what is my point? Maybe to you this is just a nonsensical rant about yogurt. But you’ve made it this far, so hear me out. Yes, Fage tastes better than Chobani, and is more nutritious and delicious. That’s a #fact. But to me, this is more about a brand with an opportunity to leverage its existing marketing strategy in order to take brand awareness from plain to plain extraordinary. Through a more modern and targeted ad campaign, Fage can generate a viral product hype, connect with its target, and gradually expand its reach.
A refined marketing strategy will not only engage people in Fage, the healthy brand and tasty yogurt choice, but moreover encourage consumers to trade tradition (i.e., Chobani) for taste and 21st century product appeal. There’s not much more to say than “Fa-yeh!” to that.
*Curious to see what the word “Fage” meant or stood for as a brand name, I Google’d it. Turns out, it’s an actual Greek word and acronym: “FAGE, pronounced fa-yeh, is an acronym and a pun. First the acronym: F for the the Filippou family that owns the company, A for adelphi, the Greek word for brothers, G for the Greek word for dairy, and E for the word for corporation. Thus, FAGE = The Filippou Brothers’ Dairy Corporation. Now for the pun: in Greek, fage also means ‘to eat’” (via thenibble.com).