Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

SHAKE UP your breakfast cereal by pairing it with something other than milk! Here’s a suggestion… [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

August 19, 2021

What do you usually eat for breakfast? 


Bacon and eggs? 


We all have our own breakfast favorites. 


In case you want to “shake up” your breakfast and experiment on a new meal, this brand’s campaign might just be the inspiration you need! 

Activia is a yogurt brand owned by French food company Danone and introduced in France in 1987. The brand is classified as functional food manufactured to improve digestive health. 

Some of Activia’s portfolio yogurt brands include: 

  • Greek Style
  • Fruit Layers
  • Intensely Creamy
  • Activia Light
  • Activia Breakfast Blend
  • Activia Fiber

In September 2010, the brand launched its new product, the Activia Pouring Yogurt. 

[Pouring Yogurt: This type of yogurt is milder and lighter in texture. It is designed to pour smoothly over a bowl of cereal or muesli without the additional need for milk.] 

Available in 3 flavors (Natural, Vanilla, and Strawberry), the Activia Pouring Yogurt has an overall improved flavor that consumers can enjoy in a variety of ways―over a bowl of cereal, fruits, or even as a drink on its own! 

So… what did Activia do to raise awareness about its new product and encourage consumers to give the pouring yogurt a try? 

In 2012, the brand launched the “Shake Up Breakfast” Campaign with the help of London-based marketing agency, Hotcow! 

The strategy aimed to bring to life Activia’s call to “shake up your breakfast” by pairing one’s meal with pouring yogurt instead of regular milk. 

Additionally, the campaign wanted to change some consumers’ perception that yogurt doesn’t taste good with a range of cereals. 

However, there’s a challenge: 

A lot of other well-known yogurt brands are also available in different retailer stores in the UK! 

Hmmm. That’s quite a lot of options consumers have to choose from! 

How did Activia make sure shoppers don’t just pass by store aisles and ignore its products, especially the pouring yogurt? 

The brand appealed to consumers’ senses through visually appealing food stands that offered FREE samples of the new product! 

Ah, the power of free food samples! Who would say “no” to that?! 

The campaign team placed one food stand each at two key retailers in England: Tesco’s store in Welwyn Garden City and Morrisons’s store in Bradford, West Yorkshire for 25 days. 

Activia staff used highly visual communication tools such as a creative stand in the form of a giant bowl of cereal and a giant Activia Pouring Yogurt dispensing machine to capture shoppers’ attention and motivate them to try the food samples. 

The brand activation was in line with Hotcow’s “Building Brilliant Sampling Campaigns” research results that showed: 

  • 71% of consumers are more likely to try something if a brand grabs their attention with something visually appealing. 
  • 85% of consumers feel inspired to buy a brand’s product after a free sample. 

According to Hotcow’s research, when a brand is able to attract customers through high-quality visuals and free samples, there’s a high chance these consumers will have a positive and feel-good experience. 

This will make them more likely to buy a certain product! 

Let’s go back to Activia’s guerrilla marketing campaign… 

To amplify the brand’s “shake up your breakfast” stance, in-store representatives demonstrated how pouring yogurt tastes good with various types of cereals like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Cocoa Puffs, Rice Krispies, Corn Pops, etc. 

Yogurt with cereal instead of milk? That’s definitely an interesting way to shake up your breakfast! 

According to Amelia Wong, assistant brand manager at Danone, 

“Activia Pouring Yogurt is not only delicious but is also a fantastically versatile product and it’s time consumers know about it! We’re counting on Hotcow to help us get consumers excited about all the different ways they can shake up their breakfast with Activia Pouring Yogurt.” 

Was Activia’s “Shake Up Breakfast” Campaign Effective? 

The food preparations and product demonstrations attracted the attention of a lot of shoppers and compelled them to go near the food stand to try the free samples. 

In-store representatives also took this opportunity to interact with consumers and inform them about the new Activia Pouring Yogurt―its price, health benefits, and how it could level up one’s breakfast! 

Here are the results of the 25-day campaign: 

  • Over 123,000 free food samples were distributed to shoppers at Tesco and Morrisons during the duration of the campaign. 
  • More than 181,000 consumers got exposed to the brand―some were exposed through in-person interactions with in-store representatives while others were mere spectators during food preparations and product demonstrations. 
  • During the 25-day period, Activia recorded an average of 2,000 purchases of the Activia Pouring Yogurt per day. 
  • 69% of visitors to the stands liked the free food samples and purchased Activia Pouring Yogurt! 

Imagine these prospects-turned-customers sharing their experiences―and even their new breakfast favorite―with family and friends… 

That’s a good way to reach more consumers and generate leads for Activia! 

The brand’s classic-yet-appealing guerrilla marketing tactic compelled consumers to give the pouring yogurt a try because of this factor: 

Experiential marketing done right.  

By focusing on visually attractive designs and consumers’ fondness for all things FREE, Activia was able to engage with its target market. 

Here’s another plus factor: 

Assigning friendly, professional, and knowledgeable representatives to man the food stands helped the brand attract more consumers. 

SHAKE UP your marketing strategies too by appealing to your target market’s senses! 

Make your campaigns visually appealing so consumers will be captivated and interested to know more about your brand. 

… and don’t just stop there! 

Once you’ve managed to get your target market’s attention through good visuals, make sure other elements of your campaign are engaging to encourage consumer participation. 

By having a good recipe for your campaign and a good strategy to support it, you’ll be able to generate positive buzz for your brand and compel your target market to interact with your business. 

Enjoy your breakfast! 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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