Fage Yogurt Brand Makes a Splash Online

Visitors to Wired.com on Tuesday might have noticed cherries exploding on the homepage. The outburst was actually an ad for Fage, a Greek yogurt brand, which has been running a series of print and digital executions since the beginning of this month.

Fage (pronounced “fa-yeh”) has kicked off a campaign in the pages of Vogue and Elle magazines. One ad shows a woman’s necklace exquisitely pressed into a bed of “ridiculously thick yogurt.” “Fashionably low in fat,” the accompanying tagline reads. Three blueberries—dangling as pendants—add a splash of color to the creamy white background.

The Greek yogurt brand isn’t a huge advertiser, having spent less than $4 million on measured media through June of this year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co. However, Russell Evans, marketing director at Fage, Johnstown, N.Y., said the effort is one of the largest yet for the brand.

In addition to print, Fage is making a splash online. Ads are currently running on sites like The New York Times, Food & Wine and The Huffington Post. They highlight Fage’s two percent split yogurt cups (a side container holds the fruit), and “the newest member of our family: blueberry,” Evans said.

The cherry outburst ad, for instance, is meant to appeal to tech buffs surfing Wired.com. Meanwhile, Foodies searching for recipes on Epicurious.com get the chance to “draw” on a creamy yogurt canvas or drag an oversized cup around with a mouse.

“We wanted it to be something that would fit in and be appropriate for that medium or magazine, but at the same time, it should be fun and engaging,” Evans said of the current ads.

It’s not the first time Fage has tried this technique to catch consumers’ attention. The brand introduced its current tagline, “Ridiculously thick yogurt,” in 2007 with a campaign from Ogilvy & Mather, which featured luxury products (like a Tourneau watch) imprinted in the yogurt.

Fage is one of the largest brands in the growing Greek yogurt category. (Kraft Foods this month introduced its first Greek yogurt under the Athenos brand. Others in the segment include Chobani and Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos Greek yogurt.) Fage, in particular, has been selling extremely well in specialty food stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, Evans said.

Though women currently make up the bulk of Fage’s customers, the brand is hoping to reach a wider audience—both yogurt and non-yogurt eaters. “Our product is really for people who enjoy good food and guiltless pleasures,” said Evans. “Fage gives them that everyday pleasure, that daily [permissible] indulgence.”