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Yoplait’s New French Yogurt, Oui, Is Here to Take on Greek Yogurt  – SELF

This news about the introduction of Oui, a new French yogurt by General Mills’ Yoplait brand, garnered widespread coverage in the U.S. media. In addition to health and lifestyle magazines like SELF, the product announcement was also picked up by business and trade media outlets including The Street and Advertising Age.

So what can we learn from Yoplait’s press release and media strategy?

What Works:
  • Strong News Hooks. To help pique the media’s interest, Yoplait made strong use of the so-called superlative and milestone news hooks. Right from the start, the press release positions the new product as a watershed moment for the industry. Yoplait is the first to bring French-style yogurt to the U.S., introducing “an entirely new category”. The announcement also subtly connects with the consumer trend towards artisanal foods.
  • Show, Don’t Tell. Yoplait backs up these news hooks through powerful storytelling. With great attention for detail, it describes how Oui is made, how this method differs from the standard U.S. yogurt-making process and why the product is sold in glass pots. Adding to the story’s authenticity, Yoplait cleverly drew on the brand’s French roots and included a quote from a France-born product developer, citing his fond memories of this “simple, French style way of making delicious, fresh-tasting yogurt.”
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Missing Background. Apart from the industry milestone, this announcement also strongly appealed to the business media because of an ongoing struggle with Greek yogurt giant Chobani for dominance in the U.S. market. Although Yoplait made a good choice to focus its press release on the consumer story rather than the business angle, it could have provided some background lower down to help journalists put the news into perspective. When you launch your next product, consider including market growth rates, background about your company’s strategy and data from customer surveys to back up the trend.
What We’ve Learned: Explain Why Your Product Matters

With thousands of products launched every day, the challenge is to make your press release stand out from the crowd. Always ask yourself: “how is this product different?” and “why would anyone care about this?” You’re not selling a product to the media, you’re selling a story. Yoplait provided lots of color on how French yogurt is made, how it’s different from standard yogurt and where it comes from.

According to New York Times columnist Charles Duhigg this story of authenticity could be Yoplait’s recipe to success. In a recent analysis of Yoplait’s marketing strategy, he wrote: “Whether it will succeed remains to be seen. Yoplait has stumbled before. But if, as you are shopping, you happen to pick up a small glass pot of Oui and are momentarily transported to the French countryside, you’ll know that the company has finally figured out how to look beyond the data and embrace the narrative.”

Check out Yoplait’ press release here and let me know in the comments section below why you think it was so effective and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Marcel van de Hoef is co-founder of Publiqly, whose step-by-step systems help small and mid-sized companies write press releases that journalists and bloggers can’t ignore. Were you forwarded this post? Sign up to receive our weekly press release lessons directly in your inbox.

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