Turning the negative into a positive. Every day seems to bring us new information about what is good for us, what we should eat, how we should look, new extreme diets and new forms of exercise. They can range from the practical to the absurd. We know that people want to look and feel good, but the barrage of mixed messages combined with an increased focus on looks and lifestyle in society meant that our audience were being negatively affected rather than feeling positive about who they are. The beginning of any new year was particularly full of these messages as people focused more on their lifestyle and eating at this time of year.
With the launch of the Havrecrunch, Quaker Oats set out to challenge this negative trend, there is more to life than the next diet fad and it wanted to remind consumers of this. OMD needed to come up with an idea targeted specifically at this audience to get their attention, entertain them while also enlightening them about what leading a healthier lifestyle actually means.
The marketing challenge was to create awareness for the new Havrecrunch product by creating a meaningful connection with the target audience based on insights on their conscious living and eating habits.
There is no miracle cure, but everyone claims their new product to be one, which is where the grizzly berries come into the picture.
The Yellowstone berry was considered a super-food for bears and it had recently become famous and a discussion point in social media forums. The Yellowstone berry helps bears get through the winter hibernation period and had recently become almost extinct before an initiative by Yellowstone Park bought the berry back to life.
With the berry background story in place, OMD would create fake commercials for a diet called “The Yellowstone Diet”. This diet was to come from these wild berries that scientists had supposedly been researching the last eight years. By harnessing the credibility of the story and armed with the knowledge that previous campaigns which had used humorous content were a success, the Yellowstone berry diet campaign was born.
Video content was created in an exaggerated and funny way to get people’s attention and have those wondering if this was real or not. The agency would release the ‘fake commercials’ on several social platforms that the audience uses to research, discuss and share new trends and diets. OMD’s strategy was to get the target group’s attention and use them to spread the Yellowstone diet themselves through social media. It would then move to mainstream channels such as print and out-of-home to reveal that the diet was about conscious living and encouraging people to eat healthily, rather than just chasing the next big fad.
Quaker believes that “There is no miracle cures – eat healthy and use your common sense”. With its brand story at the heart of the campaign it would set out to challenge the negative trend in body consciousness in an entertaining and irreverent tone of voice.
Knowing that being online and having credible buzz around a product was the key to attracting its audience, OMD recruited key ambassadors to promote the Diet and seeded 10 fake diet videos on blogs and forums. The videos consisted of two energetic people in gym gear discussing the diet and explaining the berry in an infomercial style. This included an introduction and demonstrations of the related products such as a Hibernation patch that works while you sleep, by inserting the berries into your nose, and personal favourite the Belly-berries patch for everyday use.
The content was seeded onto sites that contained news about health, fitness and lifestyle; OMD bought premium placements in trustworthy environments. Four Bloggers wrote 10 editorials about their experiences and expectations of the Grizzly Berries. #Yellowstone on Twitter would be track the chatter about the diet. All this was over five weeks alongside the bought placements.
The agency also rolled out budget display placements and cryptic search ads, to mirror the massive amount of ridiculous advertising for getting abs and losing weight in minutes in “untrustworthy environments” to also achieve a cheap TV-shop-feel in several contexts.
As the campaign got more and more ridiculous, OMD finally rolled out on all digital platforms, the BeOn network; Twitter, blogs, display, RTB, GDN, Search, YouTube and Facebook with a reveal, that it was all a part of a campaign highlighting bad diets and that the focus should be on healthy living and breakfasts, with Havrecrunch.
“It’s the fake diet you don’t want to miss!” Havrecrunch delivered on its brand story and message that there is no miracle cure, just simply to eat healthy and use your common sense.
Awareness during the campaign increased the sales index to 334. While the buzz and chatter around the fake diet went crazy throughout the campaign on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, with comments such as: “This is great, where can I get it” to “This is the funniest parody of diet advertising ever seen.
After two weeks of advertising, Quaker Oats had + 27,000 visitors on the website, and + 50,000 views on YouTube, generating approximately +200,000 views spread over 10 videos. Phase 1 achieved an aggregated viewing time of 4,215 hours, equivalent to over 201 days of video consumption. Facebook reached a total of +70,000,000 impressions, while Twitter reached 216,000 impressions and 17,176 engagements, which meant a stunning 7.92% engagement rate.
A highlight of the campaign was an official invitation to have a stand at the 2014 Health and Beauty Conference, where Havrecrunch was invited to demonstrate the Grizzly Berries.