Chobani Champions Launches Platform, Campaign

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Chobani Champions, billed as the first Greek yogurt made for kids, has launched its first integrated marketing campaign, spanning mobile, a Web site, a tour, augmented reality and social media.

The unifying theme of the campaign, from Brooklyn creative agency Big Spaceship, is that being a Chobani Champion means being "imaginative, active, courageous and caring."

Those are the brand's newly defined four pillars and "center of gravity," says John Heath, Chobani VP of new ventures and innovation. "All of the elements and ideas spring from that platform," he says.

One campaign element is a "Champlify" mobile app (available for iOS and soon for Android) that encourages parents and children to share online activities that tie into the four characteristics, ranging from fun exercises to creative challenges to acts of kindness. Rewards and trophies are unlocked along the way, but the real point is "creating experiences that require that mom and dad are involved," says Heath.

Champlify also includes ChampVision, an augmented reality (AR) viewer. Starting this month, tags with unique AR codes are located under the lids of Champions packages, enabling a 3-D experience and unlocking additional challenges and trophies through the app.

The AR viewer also comes into play in Champion's now-underway East Coast tour. In addition to providing product sampling opportunities, the branded bus allows consumers to engage with mobile and AR interactions, including taking AR photos of the bus.

The brand also has partnered with nonprofit KaBOOM! on Save Play, a campaign to provide play areas for 1 million children this year. The partners will donate Imagination Playground in a Box sets to three communities during the bus tour.

The Chobani Champions site offers a link to download the app, as well as information and videos about the tour, the product and the mobile app.

Building a dialogue with parents is a critical objective for the brand, and all of the elements are linked by Facebook and Twitter, according to Heath.

Launched in late January, Champions is all-natural, has 8 grams of protein and 100 calories, and is sold in four-packs of kid-sized 3.5-ounce cups. Although created for kids, Chobani is finding that adults also are responding to its blended but not overly sweet taste, particularly for snacking, reports Heath.

The still-expanding new kids' line currently has distribution in about 40% of U.S. grocery and other mass-market stores, with particularly strong presence on the East Coast, he notes.

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