Looking to get more men to consume yogurt, Dannon is launching a new line, Oikos Triple Zero, and backing it with a multimillion-dollar ad campaign starring Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
With Newton on board, Oikos is ending its three-year brand rep relationship with Greek-American actor John Stamos.
Oikos Triple Zero, which is being positioned as a high-protein snack that appeals to both men and women, has 15 grams of protein with zero added sugar, zero artificial sweeteners and zero fat.
In addition to recruiting Newton, Oikos became the official yogurt of the NFL, and is featuring that logo in its Triple Zero packaging and marketing.
The first TV spot featuring Newton, from Y&R Barcelona, begins airing today on the NFL Network and will continue to air during the league championship games later this month. The brand reported that it will also be a presenting sponsor of various NFL Network shows, and activate NFL.com takeovers, and that it plans to explore integrated partnerships with other television networks with high male viewership.
Stamos had been the brand's ambassador since 2011, when Dannon rebranded its Dannon Greek as Dannon Oikos. At the time, Dannon Greek had just a 2% share of the Greek yogurt market.
Dannon has come a long way in the Greek market since then, thanks to Oikos's rebranding, heavy marketing and Stamos's appeal to women (the dominant creative theme in the brand's ads) -- as well as Dannon's successful Light & Fit and Activia Greek launches. As of first quarter of 2014, Dannon's average U.S. Greek yogurt market share was 33%, according to parent Danone, which put longtime Greek leader Chobani's average share at 35%.
But Dannon, which reports that males generate just 37% of total U.S. Greek yogurt sales, has been looking to expand its male customer base since at least 2013, when it launched ads in Men's Health magazine positioning the existing Oikos Greek line as a high-protein choice for "fitness-minded men." The ads compared Oikos to traditional protein choices like eggs, grilled chicken and hamburgers.
At that juncture, Dannon Senior Director of Public Relations Michael Neuwirth told DairyReporter.com that Dannon had no plans to launch a separate Greek yogurt line specifically aimed at appealing to men. Now, it appears that the company has decided that a new line is necessary in order to woo guys in sufficient numbers.
Oikos Triple Zero, which comes in six flavors, began to hit shelves on Dec. 20 and will continue to roll out nationwide.