Britain’s burgeoning health-product market is set for a Japanese
invasion with the launch of Yakult, a fermented milk drink, backed by a
pounds 3 million campaign.
Travis Sennett Sully Ross is masterminding the attack, the first stage
of which began on Tuesday with TV and press teaser ads in London and the
South posing the question: ‘Why is everyone talking Yakult?’ Media is
being bought by CDP Media.
The product has been a feature of Japanese daily life for the past 60
years and is claimed to ease digestion by helping to maintain the
balance between good and harmful bacteria in the intestine.
Its appearance in supermarket chiller cabinets is the start of a
concerted effort by its Japanese manufacturer to establish the product,
which claims daily sales of 23 million in 14 countries, in the UK.
The drink, which contains a bacterium called lactobacillus casei
shirota, will be pitched directly against Nestle’s LC1, which was
launched in January and contains a culture said to stimulate the immune
Peter Travis, the Travis Sennett managing director, said: ‘The sheer
weight of the campaign will make Yakult a very serious contender.’
Yakult’s UK debut follows more than six months of talks between the
company and Travis Sennett, whose Dentsu parent handles advertising in
Japan and all other key markets.
The campaign will evolve over two weeks into full-scale press and TV
advertising. Gill Sully, the agency’s creative director, devised the
ads. She said: ‘We have to show people that Yakult should be part of a
daily routine. It’s not just for health freaks.’