How Chobani Uses Sponsored Videos to Stir Up Yogurt Sales and Market Share

How Chobani Uses Sponsored Videos to Stir Up Yogurt Sales and Market Share

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I admit that I like Chobani Greek yogurt. My favorite flavor is the one with black cherry on the bottom. And I confess that I’m a fan of the company, too. It was founded in 2005 when Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish-born Kurdish businessman, bought a plant in the town of South Edmeston, NY, which was being closed by Kraft Foods.

Nevertheless, I was surprised when I saw that Chobani has just passed Dollar Shave Club to become the top sponsored video campaign, according to Tubular’s DealMaker data. Heck, I just wrote about Dollar Shave Club’s new sponsored video campaigns a month ago and I thought the content promoting the brand’s amazing razors and grooming products was “F***ing Great!”

Chobani: Sponsored Video Campaigns

Using Tubular data, I took a closer look at what Chobani is doing to stir up the rankings. Over the long Labor Day weekend, Chobani had 8 partners and 12 sponsored videos that had a total of 21.9 million views and 451,000 engagements.

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But, the sponsored video that accounted for the largest portion of Chobani’s success was “Banana Berry Smoothies 4 Ways.” Uploaded to Tasty’s Facebook page on July 18, 2017, the video currently has 21.7 million views and 446,000 engagements. In less than 90 seconds, the sponsored video shows you how to make overnight banana berry oatmeal, a banana berry chia smoothie, a banana berry bowl, and banana berry pops. Apparently, all you need is some Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt and a delicious imagination!

There are 11 other sponsored videos in the campaign with 7 other partners. But none of them come close to the popularity of “Banana Berry Smoothies 4 Ways.” For example, the second most popular sponsored video was uploaded to USA Wrestling’s Facebook page on July 5, 2017. It says, “Sometimes, finding the proper fuel for training and competition isn’t easy – just ask Beat the Streets NYC Head of Girls Programming Jacque Davis. Hear her story on growing in the sport and learning that making weight meant taking nutrition seriously!” Although I think the video’s message is uplifting and enlightened, it only has 51,900 views and 1,197 engagements.

So, I suspect that Chobani is still experimenting with different content and different partners to find out which sponsored videos reach and resonate with relevant audiences.

Competitor Campaigns

Meanwhile, Yoplait is also testing 2 sponsored videos with 2 partners. Together, they have 184,000 views and 3,883 engagements. The most popular one is “Three Ingredient Yogurt Bread.” Uploaded to Wine & Glue’s Facebook page on Aug. 22, 2017, it currently has 158,000 views and 3,440 engagements.

So, maybe video marketers won’t be surprised to learn that Chobani passed Yoplait in sales and market share last year. In fact, Chobani booked almost $2 billion in sales last year, making it the leading US yogurt brand, according to Nielsen data. The company commands a 37.6% share of the Greek yogurt market and a 19.8% piece of the total spoonable yogurt market.

That’s right, a 12-year-old upstart overtook an established giant in the food genre. Yoplait accounted for 25% of the US yogurt market as recently as 2011, the year that General Mills bought a controlling stake after licensing the brand since 1977. Until 2015, Yoplait was the country’s leading brand. Now, General Mills has slipped to third, trailing both Chobani and Dannon, the U.S. arm of Danone, which controls roughly 34% of the U.S. yogurt market. Yoplait sales plunged 11% to $1.75 billion last year, leaving it with a market share of 19%.

Now, most of these market shifts took place last year before Chobani and Yoplait started experimenting with sponsored video. And it’s worth noting that Dannon still hasn’t started testing sponsored video.

So, what lessons can video marketers learn from these yogurt brands? Well, if you are going to test sponsored videos to see what kind of results you can get, do you think you’re more likely to learn what works by experimenting with 8 partners and 12 sponsored videos, 2 partners and 2 sponsored videos, or by waiting for one of your competitors to show you the way? Right. You knew the answer to that one about halfway through reading the question.



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