Chobani, the top-selling Greek yogurt brand in the U.S., is no stranger to event marketing. As Peter McGuinness, chief marketing and brand officer, at Chobani says, “We’re a very grassroots brand, we always have been, and we’re very active socially. Part of Chobani’s brand DNA is to be exciting, have fun, be surprising, delighting and not typical.” Case in point: #stopsadbreakfast, a campaign created to encourage trial of its new Chobani Greek Yogurt Oats, which is made with steel-cut oats and real fruit, and to grow the yogurt category in general.
The effort launched on Oct. 9 with a pop-up store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal where commuters received free cups of Chobani Greek Yogurt Oats. In addition, consumers who shared “sad” breakfast photos at #stopsadbreakfast also received free samples. The brand also substituted the yogurt for sad breakfasts in office refrigerators in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Minneapolis; in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., pedicabs designed to look like cups of Chobani oats “cho-ffeured” commuters to work and offered them yogurt to go (Handling agencies: Droga5, New York City; GMR, Charlotte, NC; Weber Shandwick, New York City and Chicago).
“We wanted to come up with an idea that would be sticky and memorable, and stop sad breakfast,” McGuinness says. “We did a ton of consumer research that said people are just bored with existing breakfast options and they don’t like burnt toast, bruised bananas, soggy cereal. We wanted to use that as a bit of a foil and at the same time let people know that this oats product is a great alternative to other non-yogurt breakfast items.”
#Stopsadbreakfast distributed more than 77,230 cups of Chobani Greek Yogurt Oats, not including the office takeovers, which are still ongoing. And that’s just one program in its event marketing portfolio. Its Cho-Mobile has traveled to 61 cities and sampled more than 600,000 cups of yogurt so far this year. The brand also sponsors events such as the food and wine festivals in New York City and Aspen, and it recently partnered with Lyft car service to deliver cases of its limited-edition pumpkin spice flavor to consumers who downloaded the Lyft app and selected “Chobani Mode.” Add in its active social channels (#stopsadbreakfast resulted in 18,778 engagements on Instagram and Twitter) and fulltime a branded café in New York City’s trendy SoHo district, and you have one very tasty event marketing effort.
McGuinness discusses the strategy behind it all in our November issue. Subscribe today.