Media convergence in Chobani’s #TasteReal campaign is damn sexy

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Photo of the new Lamborghini Venero super car.

Lamborghini Venero. Photo from

A truly great interactive campaign is sort of like an engine. Each component acts as a cylinder, working to drive things forward. Like an engine, a campaign may still function without one cylinder or another, but it performs best when each of the cylinders is working and has full compression.

Campaigns that rely on only one type of media are like your high school buddy’s ’83 Honda Civic badly in need of a new head gasket. It might get you around, it might stall out and die. Either way, it’s just sputtering along.

But, a campaign that integrates all three types of media through various channels is a Lamborghini’s V12 — it sings a beautiful tune and performs at the highest levels.

The convergence of paid, earned, and owned media is a beautiful thing.

Case in point: Chobani’s latest campaign, Go Real Chobani or #TasteReal, is just as sexy to interactive marketing nerds (ahem) as the pristine mechanical beast beneath the hood of the recently-unveiled Lambo Venero┬áis to an engine designer (or to anyone for that matter.)

I first read about their latest push — reportedly masterminded by Big Spaceship and Boathouse — in a Direct Marketing News article about its success. And it’s not hard to see why the campaign was such a smash.

It’s a perfect example of how a carefully-crafted and well-constructed effort can steal the hearts and minds of consumers, generate huge buzz, and hopefully drive a massive increase in sales (as if the Greek yogurt company hasn’t already dominated nearly their entire market.)

But, the real beauty in the campaign comes when you take it apart piece by piece and analyze how each of the components works flawlessly together in absolute harmony. So, that’s what I did.

Let’s look first at the big picture (graphic created by me):

Graphic shows the overlap and interplay between different paid, earned, and owned media channels used in Chobani's 2013 Go Real campaign.

Just a diagram of this campaign's structure is a work of art.

I told you. This is a thing of beauty. Now, let’s dissect each of the media involved in the campaign.

WebsiteChobani’s Taste Real page is like the command center for the campaign. The beautiful, modern design showcases facets of earned media. Photos, Tweets, recipes, and more make an appearance on the main grid. Paid media (promoted tweets, banners, TV spots, etc), as well as other owned media pages all drive traffic to the main hub.

Twitter – A big piece of Chobani’s campaign has been the proliferation of the hash tag #TasteReal, often accompanied with rich media and links to other social media. They again combine paid (promoted Tweets), earned (brand advocates, blogs, and more), and owned (their own account) media.

Blogs – Mmm, brand advocates. Chobani held some sort of contest leading up the campaign (I’m not sure what it consisted of) and also identified key influencers in the health and fitness markets, whom they showered with free product and promotional materials. This has generated tons of positive earned media.

Pinterest – With all of these photos floating around and such a strong focus on fitness and eating healthy, Pinterest is a natural hub for Chobani-related content.

Instagram – The photo-sharing platform du jour for the young and hip, Instagram is a hot place for photos of Chobani products, recipes, and #TasteReal promos.

Banners – Chobani has driven increased exposure for their campaign by running paid banner placements targeting their key demographics.

TV – Another big mode of promotion for the initial launch of the Chobani campaign came from some high-profile TV spots, including the Academy Awards, according to DM News.

Admittedly, I’m only an outsider looking in. This may not be all of the components at play. But, from the article I read and my own investigation, I think we’ve covered most of the moving pieces.

This is an example of what marketing creatives and strategist should strive for. Not one-off PPC campaigns or single blog posts, but strategic, integrated, interactive campaigns that engage, motivate, and influence. Oh, baby.

About me

My name is Tyler Hakes. I'm a digital strategist in Des Moines. I write and tweet about marketing, strategy, media, and technology.

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