The Laughing Cow’s 90th Anniversary
Campaign: The Laughing Cow’s 90th Anniversary
Location: Netherlands, Europe
Client: La Vache qui rit
PR team: Weber Shandwick and IN10
Timescale: July 2010 until October 201
French cheese brand The Laughing Cow (La Vache qui rit) is the number one spreading cheese in the world. In 2011, the brand, owned by the Bel Group, celebrated its 90th anniversary. Bel Netherlands asked Weber Shandwick and interactive agency IN10 to help mark the anniversary by engaging children aged 7-12 and their mothers.
The PR objectives were to raise awareness of the brand and the Laughing Cow's 90th anniversary, in paid, earned and shared media, and achieve brand loyalty and engagement. The business objective was to create the Laughing Cow's biggest ever promotion, with target volume growth of at least 3.5%.
The campaign needed to underline The Laughing Cow's brand values, including ‘Sharing Smiles', goodness, and fun, and stay true to the positioning as a healthy cheese snack for young kids and families.
The team created an online club – The Secret Order of the Laughing Cow – and invited children to sign up as members and help the Laughing Cow find the best places to swim, skate, or visit a museum in several ‘Secret Missions'.Members of the Secret Order and key journalists, together with retailers and other important third parties, were invited to the Laughing Cow's 90th birthday party, which was held in an amusement park, and included setting a Guinness World Record for gathering the most people dressed as cows in one place. Activities at the party included a quiz, a survival challenge, rodeo bull riding, cow milking and a Laughing Cow theatre show. Weber Shandwick generated coverage before and after the event and created a social media release with a Facebook and Twitter link.
The campaign generated 106 online articles, 22 pieces of print coverage and three radio items. The world record attempt was mentioned in more than 80 tweets. The campaign engaged 7,500 kids and parents by inviting them to the party, and 250 people took part in the Guinness World Record attempt. The Secret Order signed up 1,730 members in its first year.
Sales in the Netherlands increased by 7.5% from January to October 2011, representing record volumes for the brand. Household penetration increased by 9.5% in Q4 2010 - Q3 2011, compared with the same period the previous year. The Laughing Cow is over-performing in the total cheese spread market: according to Nielsen Data, volumes are up by +6.9% - much higher than total market growth (+2%).
This campaign combined the Laughing Cow's historic assets with making the brand relevant for today's kids. The campaign allowed kids to ‘share smiles' with friends and parents while enjoying outdoor activities and healthy snacks, and forged long-term relationships with kids and parents through the online club.