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Ogilvy’s World Expo packaging campaign for Yili Yogurt a yummy success

8 October, 2010

Six lovable cartoon girls bring World Expo’s international theme home

BEIJING — Inner Mongolia Yili Group‘s 2010 World Expo packaging campaign, created by Ogilvy & Mather Beijing, has been a case study of success. Yili’s Yogurt Business Unit, the sole dairy products sponsor of the Expo, tasked O&M with creating an Expo related campaign which would revitalize sales of its Large Fruit Granules (390g) yogurt line and create a stronger emotional connection with consumers. The result was an incredibly popular line of special edition packaging featuring six cartoon girls representing six different regions from around the world. Launched at the end of April 2010, consumer feedback and sales results have been overwhelmingly positive.

The fruit yogurt market in China is currently saturated with many similar products. Ogilvy discovered that consumers often made decisions based on price and flavor alone. To distinguish Yili Large Fruit Granules from its competitors, the agency wanted to use a powerful creative idea to engage consumers in a unique way and establish a strong brand image in their minds. Ogilvy also needed to produce cost effective work which would drive sales of certain flavors.

Research showed that the primary consumers of Yili’s fruit yogurt line are young college girls and white collar women between the ages of 18-25 who prefer cute designs. To appeal to this core group, O&M created six cartoon personas, each symbolizing a different region of the world: Africa, China, Europe, Hawaii, India and North America. The idea echoed the World Expo concept of experiencing different cultures without having to leave home. Similarly, Yili’s fruit yogurt evokes faraway locales through exotic flavors like corn and fig & raisin.

The success of the campaign was eminent soon after the new designs reached stores. Sales were up 33.3% one month after launch*. It also succeeded in promoting certain slow selling flavors such as corn flavored yogurt, which was up 33% in the first month, and fig & raisin which jumped by 43%.

Due to the popularity of the six cartoon girls, Yili plans to develop their personas further and will also introduce a second phase of special packaging for the 260g Large Fruit Granules line.

The campaign involved point-of-sale visuals and product packaging design. Yili will continue to distribute the special edition cartons until the fall of 2010, when they will be replaced by new designs.

*in comparison with pre-launch sales figures
Project Title: Yili Large Fruit Granules yogurt Expo Limited Edition Packaging
Client: Inner Mongolia Yili Group Co., Ltd. Yogurt Business Unit

Brief: To promote Yili as an Expo sponsor within a limited budget, strengthen the Yili brand’s emotional connection with consumers while increasing sales
Creative agency: Ogilvy & Mather Advertising/Beijing
Executive Creative Director: Bill Chan
Art Directors: Peisong Pan, Xiaodong Xiao
Copywriter: Chen Yu
Creative Director: CQ Chen
Account Leads: Jacky Ding, Rich Diao, Mandy Zhai
Exposure: Product packaging

For more information, please contact:

Shuo Feng
Corporate Communications  
Tel: (8610) 8520 6223

Sarah Guldin
Corporate Communications
Tel: (8610) 8520 6552

About Ogilvy & Mather Group China
Ogilvy & Mather Group China ( is the largest marketing communications network in China. It offers the full range of marketing communication disciplines including advertising, direct marketing, interactive media, database management, public relations, graphic design and related marketing disciplines.

As Brand Stewards, the agency works to leverage the brands of its clients by combining local know-how with a worldwide network, creating powerful campaigns that address local market needs while reinforcing the universal brand identity. The hallmark of the agency’s brand-building capabilities is 360 Degree Brand Stewardship®, a holistic approach to communications, using what is necessary from each discipline to build a brand.

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide (, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), is one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world, with 495 offices in 120 countries, specializing in advertising, relationship and interactive marketing, public relations, sales promotion and related services.

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