French dairy company Danone is shifting marketing gear now that its health claims are getting ever more criticism all around the world. The group has decided to hire Colombian singer Shakira to promote Activia yoghurt.
No more health claims
"For the first time we are using a global celebrity so we aim to have a global impact", chief marketing officer Santiago Mier said. Shakira will be featured in a campaign across 55 countries, on billboards, in print, on the radio, television and the internet. Mier refused to divulge how much the campaign cost.
Shakira will not be talking about the wholesome effects Activia's probiotics are supposed to have on the digestive system: the campaign's baseline will be "Feeling good starts from the inside". The change in communication is motivated by the fact that an increasing number of governments put a halt to or scrutinize health claims, something food producers often like to use to promote.
Activia sales level out
Danone sold 2.5 billion euro worth of Activia last year, pretty much the same level as the year before. Growth in emerging countries like Brazil, Russia and China was cancelled out by a weakened European market which struggles with the economic downturn, according to Mier.
Danone is the world's largest yoghurt producer, with a worldwide market share of 20 % in a branch that is worth nearly 60 billion euro of yearly turnover, according to research firm Euromonitor International.