The couple, first introduced to screens in 2003, have proved a success for the brand and scooped one of The Grocer’s coveted Top Campaign awards in the recent Top Products Survey (December 11, 2004).
Memorable scenes have included the girl sticking up for her oddball male friend by telling some sniggering young women to get some friendly bacteria.
Now Yakult intends to place its faith even further in the couple by making them the lynchpins of the brand’s activity for the third year running.
The decision comes at a crucial time for the brand as it faces mounting competition in a burgeoning sector.
According to figures from ACNielsen, Yakult enjoyed a 4.9% sales boost last year to peak above the £30m barrier.
However, its sales were dwarfed by a 71% surge at the till for rival Danone’s Actimel, now worth almost £82m. And it is now being hotly pursued by third-placed Müller Vitality, up by more than 85% to £23m. Notable new entrants to the category have included Benecol and Flora Pro-activ.
Marketing manager Javier Orti said there were no plans to change the brand’s packaging, claiming it was still “one of the brand’s biggest assets”.
A TV campaign is scheduled to run until the beginning of next month in a £2m burst and part of a £7m spend this year.