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How Making Women Feel Good Brought LowLow Cheese to New Heights

Chemistry, 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Chemistry looks at the impact its singing adland cliches had on the health spread brand

How Making Women Feel Good Brought LowLow Cheese to New Heights

LowLow was launched in in 1989, pioneering healthier spreads and subsequently healthier cheese. For the next 15 years the brand enjoyed double digit growth and at its peak reached €30m due to a buoyant marketplace and significant investment in new products.

However the accelerated growth reached a plateau due to an increasingly challenging economic backdrop and retail landscape.

There was a further challenge: how to stand out amidst the blandness that affected the whole low fat category. Without a clear and differentiating position, LowLow was just another brand claiming some combination of ‘great taste, low fat’: something that consumers were tired of hearing and didn’t believe.

These challenges were compounded by reduced spend, and increased promotional activity driving consumers to buy into products within a “repertoire” rather than at a brand level. All of which created pressure to reduce brand spend and increase promotional activity.

A strategy to rebuild brand equity and create consumer demand was needed fast. A position within health needed to be found that was relevant and would connect with the consumer at a brand level – while also reversing the downward sales trajectory and reducing the over-reliance on promotion.

The answer came from looking at the disconnection between the consumer and how she was portrayed and spoken to by the category. In terms of advertising, there seemed a massive difference between the target consumer and the weight-obsessed, weak-willed stereotypes shown in most marketing communications.

The solution involved turning this negative situation into a positive one – with the goal of bringing an end to the portrayal of women as having a predominantly negative relationship with food. The first step was to ‘call bullshit’ on the status quo; to make it obvious to the audience just how bad, inaccurate (and laughable) most ‘low fat’ advertising was. Having drawn attention to the negative, the target audience was presented with something very different: a new positioning, ‘Food to feel good about’. Women enjoying tasty, healthy food (perish the thought), the way they wanted to, not enduring tiny portions of low-fat, tasteless product.

The team at Chemistry decided to go for broke and challenge the entire category “norms”. Wanting to be seen as modern and fresh, they went for an unconventional, brave plan that involved two steps and embraced both traditional and new media channels to reach consumers.

To really disrupt the category, they first created a piece of online content called ‘Adland Gal’.  This was a parody of broadcast advertising in this category, i.e. bland, generic ads, filled with stick-thin models worried about their weight; women whose sole obsession seemed to be fitting into size 8 jeans; actors / stereotypes ‘tucking in’ to tiny morsels of punitive food; all set to feel-good power ballads or pop soundtracks. The ad sent up the typical clichés seen in the world of diet ads in order to draw attention to just how wrong most low fat brands were getting the audience. And of course, to distance LowLow from it.


The impact of the campaign was outstanding, far exceeding expectations and targets.

· The brand had been given a distinctive, relevant, compelling point of view and brought to life through a consistent brand world in Ireland and GB.

· The Adland Gal digital campaign went viral and reached women across the globe with over 2 million YouTube views (resulting in a case study for Google) and getting widespread coverage from the likes of the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.

· The brand gained huge resonance with consumers, amassing a following on Facebook of over 100,000 fans, with strong interaction and conversation.

· ‘Brand love’ grew +30% amongst the target audience

· ‘Brand with a positive attitude’ grew +40% amongst the target audience

· ‘Brand for me’ grew +19%

· ‘Consideration’ grew +20%

· For the first time in years the brand halted the decline in sales, giving the required confidence to invest heavily in the brand for 2014. This paid off, with January 2014 smashing all sales targets delivering a 8% uplift YOY.

· The campaign won Gold at the Advertising Effectiveness Awards in the highly competitive FMCG category.

· But perhaps the best result of all is that the brand promoted a positive relationship between women and eating by changing the way the category relates to women.

Category: Dairy , Food

Genre: Comedy , Digital , Editing , PR , People , Photography , Storytelling , Strategy/Insight , Stunts