DFC spends less, attracts more cheese rollers

This year's Cheese Rolling Festival attracted more than 10,000 spectators, thanks in part to a fresh media mix that included radio and more TSAs.

For the past three years, 200 people have gathered every summer at Whistler to chase after a wheel of cheese that is rolled down a hill.

Organized by the Dairy Farmers of Canada to mimic a similar tradition that takes place at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire, England, the Cheese Rolling Festival, which took place over the weekend, is meant to promote Canadian dairy products targeting moms and their kids.

Attracting 10,000 spectators – 2,000 more than last year – Ben Tarr, business account director at Taxi Vancouver credits, in part, a new media mix promoting the event that included radio and digital display ads for the first time. Media planning and buying was executed by M2 Universal.

‘Interestingly the media spend was less this year – ever so slightly, but we just decided to change the media mix,’ Tarr tells MiC. ‘And we did more TSAs and less print,’ he adds, about the campaign that was mainly promoted in the Lower Mainland area.

However, the growth of the event also shows that DFC has managed to build brand equity with the Cheese Rolling Festival, he adds.

‘We decided to shift the strategy and move towards focusing on the products,’ he says, of the creative. ‘We used the product as the hero; playing off cheese but also speaking about the event.’ For instance, one of the billboards says: ‘Soft on the palate, hard on the buttocks.’

The target participant in the festival, where visitors who are not racing can partake in cheese seminars and meet-and-greets with DFC cheese specialists, are moms and their children.