Liberté goes on an ‘Odyssey’ for latest branding campaign

Who: Liberté yogurt, Cossette (creative and media), Les Enfants (production) and Yves Christian Fournier as director.

What: A branding campaign for the General Mill brands, built around a nearly two-minute film called “The Odyssey.”

When & Where: The film went online in mid-July, while a 30-second version is running on TV. There are also social media ads, digital takeovers and a dedicated landing page for recipes.

How: The first minute of the film feels nothing like a yogurt ad: it could be a travel spot, or perhaps an ad for a camera brand or credit card. It opens with people visiting exotic locations. The travellers seem cautious and unsure at first, until they bond with locals over food. That food includes yogurt, and there you go—it’s a yogurt spot. The film is an extension of the “The Taste Liberté” platform, which launched in 2016 with “The Obsession.”

Why: The goal of the film is less about selling product and more about communicating the values of the brand, said Jenny Chiasson, marketing communications manager for Liberté. “We truly believe at Liberté that real food always tastes better,” she says. “We exist to ignite people’s obsession for food and for taste.”

How does “The Odyssey” do that?: The film is an authentic portrayal of how people can relate to one another through food, she said. “When you cannot communicate with people through language, you often first connect through taste.

“We are not pretending that there is Liberté yogurt in Morocco or Nepal, but we went to visit countries and cultures that already have yogurt really present in their food culture.”

How do you know this will work: They’ve seen it work since first taking the approach in 2016, said Chiasson. “When you are honest with your consumer and you present who you are… people get engaged with you,” she said. “It is not only about the product, it is about what you stand for, what are your values, and your views of the world. This communication piece is about openness to others, to the world, to discovery.”

Is this mostly for foodies?: No, the intent of the campaign is to reach a mass audience. The two-minute film will likely resonate more with “epicureans,” people that are open to exploring the world “through other humans beings or their food culture,” said Chiasson. But the campaign includes shorter versions of the film that focus more on food and recipes and are intended to connect with a wider audience.

The shoot: It was a small team of seven, for two weeks of shooting in Morocco (for the bazaar and sea-side stories) and Nepal (for the jungle and Indian restaurant in Kathmandu), with another day of shooting the food closeups back in Montreal. “It was extremely demanding, but extremely rewarding because we actually got to live what we’re advertising. We got to taste everything and actually live what we were shooting,” said Chiasson. The original plan was for a 60-second spot, but they had so much good footage it was extended to 1:50.

Quote: “Sometimes when you do not try to sell your product you are selling even more.”—Jenny Chiasson, marketing communications manager for Liberté.

David Brown