Piston Tapped For New Yakult USA Campaign

Digital agency Piston has been tapped by probiotic beverage marketer Yakult U.S.A. to develop a new integrated campaign — including TV, online video, in-store, social and digital creative, as well as digital media buying — in an effort to expand its brand presence and awareness in the U.S. market and to further solidify its positioning as the probiotic of choice in North America. 

Piston has handled Yakult’s social and digital media-buying in the U.S. since 2011. The new effort represents Yakult U.S.A.‘s first, full-fledged creative campaign with Piston. Previously, creative had been handled on a project-by-project basis. 

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. The company spent $10 million on ads in the U.S. in 2013 according to Kantar, down from $15 million in 2012. 

Yakult’s partnership with Piston follows the international brand’s rapid growth in the U.S. probiotic market and the opening of Yakult’s first U.S. plant this spring in Fountain Valley, CA. Currently Yakult’s beverages are available in six states in the U.S., including California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. The campaign is intended to boost sales to levels that will lead to expansion in other regions in the U.S. 

The campaign will target nutrition-conscious mothers and health strivers within the 25- to-54-year-old age group. The campaign will pay homage to the brand’s 80-year history and its founder Dr. Minoru Shirota — after whom the good bacteria in Yakult and Yakult Light, “L. casei Shirota,” is named. 

Themed “Forever Yakult,” the awareness campaign -- which breaks in late August -- will use animation in TV, as well as in online video and social media. Additional cross-channel work will be executed for in-store point of sale materials. 

“We are honored to be working with a brand that has contributed to good health for millions of people around the world in the last 80 years,” said Piston President John Hartman. The shop has offices in San Diego and New York.

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