Activia brand positioning shifts from function to emotion

Canadian rollout relies heavily on digital to court millennial women

Rebecca Harris for Canadian Grocer September 26, 2016

Activia is moving from functional to emotional with a new global brand positioning and marketing campaign called “Live InSync.”

The Danone-owned yogurt brand is taking “an aspirational approach” to health and nutrition in a bid to engage a younger target audience—women 29 to 39—in a dialogue about achieving balance or being “in sync.”

Previous campaigns targeted women over 40 and centred on Activia’s “B.L. Regularis” probiotic bacteria and healthy eating habits. The “Activia Challenge,” for example, aimed to help Canadians get their daily dose of probiotics.

“Activia focused more on the functional benefit and more on the product,” says Geneviève Bolduc, marketing director at Danone Canada. The idea behind the repositioning “was to start to have more of a holistic approach towards health, bring the brand towards more of an emotional standpoint, and start to have a conversation with women.”

The “Live InSync” theme, which will be rolled out worldwide, is based on a global study commissioned by Activia that explored the concept of the “inner critic.”

“We’re saying that when you feel good about yourself, when you overcome your inner critic and you feel in harmony, you are much more inspired and confident to pursue your best self,” says Bolduc.

To reach millennial women, the campaign’s Canadian rollout will rely heavily on digital, including the launch of a new Instagram account and a content strategy. For example, its website features stories on food culture, healthy living, mind and careers.

The brand has also tapped nine ambassadors across English Canada and Quebec, including blogger and fitness influencer Sasha Exeter, rocket scientist and explorer Natalie Panek, Breakfast Television Toronto host Dina Pugliese and Olympic medallist Marianne St-Gelais.

Throughout the campaign, the ambassadors will share their perspectives on living in sync via the Women InSync series— original videos that showcase each woman in her element.

A video posted by Activia Canada (@activia_canada) on

The ambassadors will also be featured in the campaign’s partnership with Rogers Media, which includes advertorial content as well as an inside cover execution in the November print and digital issues of Chatelaine, Flare and LouLou.

The campaign also includes a national 30-second TV spot, as well as online videos.

Activia has redesigned the packaging on its product line, including a new logo and font. “The new packaging is a more modern look, and the green is a bit darker than the one we previously had,” says Bolduc. “[It conveys] the expertise behind the brand, and the seriousness of it as well.”

The brand has partnered with Loblaw Companies on a contest that will award one million PC Plus points. The contest will be promoted in stores with POS materials from Publicis.

Taxi was responsible for handling Canadian strategy and creative. National Public Relations handles PR in Canada, while Carat manages media buying and planning.

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