Chobani’s first Super Bowl ad will position the brand’s Greek yogurt as the healthy, all-natural choice in supermarket yogurt sections.
The ad has yet to be released, but we got some new information on it from a Chobani representative and the brand’s head of marketing.
In the commercial, Mother Nature is represented by a “discerning bear” who just woke up from hibernation. He wanders into a supermarket, but instead of eating everything in sight, he becomes enraged at the lack of natural food choices, “especially in the yogurt aisle.”
New York agency Droga5 produced the 60 second ad, which will air during the game’s third quarter.
The Greek yogurt brand encountered some trouble last year with a product recall in September and the announcement that Whole Foods would stop carrying the product in January (contrary to many initial reports, the upscale supermarket chain did not make the decision because Chobani’s dairy cows ate genetically-modified vegetarian feed, supposedly disqualifying the yogurt as “all-natural” according to Whole Foods’ standards; rather, the chain says it was a choice meant to make room for competitors, probably including Whole Food’s own brand).
Despite those difficulties, the Super Bowl ad will not be a response to them, according to Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing officer.
McGuinness said that it was an obvious move for the company.
“We’re America’s number-one yogurt brand, so why not be in America’s number-one event?” McGuinness said. Chobani has 12.5 per cent of the country’s yogurt market, and brought in $US4.2 billion in revenue in 2013.
Despite its success, the brand is still only known to 37% of the country. The Super Bowl ad is meant to introduce the brand to the other two-thirds of the country, while providing an entertaining spot for existing Chobani fans.
“We’re a mass brand and we’re proud of it,” McGuinness said of the growing company, which spent its early years largely dedicated to manufacturing and brand expansion.
The Super Bowl commercial will serve as a turning point that will make marketing a core aspect of the brand from now on, especially since the yogurt market is more competitive than ever. Dannon will be advertising its Oikos brand Greek yogurt during the Super Bowl with a mini “Full House” reunion, and McGuinness said that Chobani will rise up to the challenge.
Chobani is also a sponsor of the Sochi Winter Olympics and will advertise during the Academy Awards.
The Super Bowl commercial, called “Ransacked” will launch the year’s “How Matters” campaign.
“A lot of brands are ‘When,’ ‘What,’ ‘Where’ companies,” McGuinness said, referring to those touting their historical background, the face value of their products, or where the products were made. “How things are made isn’t always pretty,” he added, saying that Chobani is choosing to differentiate itself by celebrating the simple way its all-natural ingredients are made into yogurt.
The brand thinks consumers will notice this distinction, in the same way the ad’s bear does.
“2014 is the year of the yogurt wars,” McGuinness said, and Chobani intends on being the victor.