Activia wants to hear women’s digestive woes

Currently touring three major markets, an Activia-branded van lures women 35 plus to hop in, sample the product and speak to a nutritionist about probiotics.

Activia yogurt is driving across Canada in a touring van, pampering women while addressing their concerns about digestion. The probiotic yogurt, made by Quebec-based Danone Canada, has been on the market for about five years, and contains a bacteria called Bifidobacterium animalis lactis that aids in digestion by travelling to the large intestine.

The bacteria is also partly responsible for Activia’s creamy texture and taste, which the brand knows is popular among its target. But the challenge is to educate women aged 35-plus about the importance of a healthy digestive tract, says Judith St-Pierre, senior consultant at Enzyme, a Montreal-based marketing and communications group that developed the tour.

‘For Activia it was time in the story of the brand to actually challenge women to taste Activia again, or to taste it for the first time and understand why they would keep on having it,’ St-Pierre tells MiC.

Called the ‘Activia 14-Day Challenge,’ the touring van carries a registered nutritionist, a yoga expert giving instructions on breathing techniques, and a lounge area featuring a massage chair and a comfy couch where participants can watch a video on digestive health. The features are meant to tempt women to take a few minutes out of their busy day to relax while engaging with the product, explains St-Pierre.

The tour also involves distribution of Activia samples, a contest for a package valued at $1,000 (that includes a combination of yoga or pilates classes, a Wii console, or a meal for four prepared by a chef and dietitian) and discount coupons for future purchases of Activia yogurt. Women can register for the ‘Activia 14-Day Challenge’ through an interactive terminal outside the van.

Promoted through PR efforts, the tour made its way through the Montreal area last week and will be in high traffic downtown areas and grocery stores in the Greater Toronto Area between April 3 and 9, and in the Calgary region between April 15 and 21. ‘There’s a mix and match of where she buys and where she hangs out or goes for a walk,’ says St-Pierre, about reaching the target.