Vitagen’s New Marketing Campaign Undermines Competitors, Ends Up “Promoting” Yakult Instead

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Vitagen Receives Flak For Advertisement 

While one of the benefits of probiotic drinks is to prevent diarrhea, Vitagen’s media team ironically took a crap on its rival competitors in a recent advertisement.

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The infographic compares the sugar content of Vitagen’s Less Sugar drink to other well-known cultured milk products.

While Vitagen is trying to promote its product as the healthiest choice by virtue of having the lowest percentage of sugar content per 100ml, it also downplays other notable rival brands. 

This drew the ire of netizens who were not impressed with Vitagen’s marketing.

Not the best execution

Amidst the rising rate of diabetes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s call for Singaporeans to watch their sugar intake has the food and beverage industry pushing out its healthier options.

However, the manner in which Vitagen’s most recent campaign was executed has clearly backfired.

Just take a look at the ad in the image above. Although the names of the companies were removed, anyone familiar with these products can tell which brands Vitagen is referring to, given that the packaging of all the drinks are unique and easily identifiable.

Here are the brands:

1. Paigen by Meiji

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2. YoyiC

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3. Yakult

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Netizens were displeased with the lack of taste in Vitagen’s marketing, which directly discredited other well known cultured milk drinks.

 

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In addition, they questioned Vitagen’s failure to consider the healthier options of rival brands.

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Such comparative advertising stunts are frowned upon, with the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore banning such tactics in their Code.

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No Sugar ≠ Healthier

In fact, having less than 50% less sugar compared to other cultured milk drinks is not necessarily a good thing as one netizen pointed out.

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According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, some amount of sugar is needed for live bacteria in such cultured milk drinks. as they provide energy for the bacteria to survive.

As such, too little sugar in the cultured milk drink would mean that the positive benefits of the good bacteria will be lost.

Yakult vs Vitagen

With similar packagings, Vitagen and Yakult are the the fiercest competitors in Singapore’s cultured milk industry.

The two have even gone head-to-head in court over the similarities in packaging.

Coincidentally, Vitagen’s marketing campaign singled out Yakult as the rival with the highest sugar content.

Despite getting actress Kate Pang and influencer Cheryl Tay to promote their product, Vitagen’s advertising has led to some Singaporeans pledging their loyalty to the alleged ‘unhealthy’ choice, Yakult.

This incident serves as a reminder to companies that discrediting rivals might not necessarily lead to an increase in patronage. In this case, it even led to customers changing their allegiances from Vitagen to Yakult.

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Because good advertising does not need to resort to drowning out other brands in order to stand out.

The healthier choice

It is unsurprising that Yakult remains popular with Singaporeans. While Vitagen was busy downplaying its competitors, Yakult released a cute poster wishing its customers a Happy Hari Raya Haji on the same day (1 Sept).

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We can’t say for certain what the healthier drink option is. But when it comes to advertising, Yakult clearly knows the healthier way to market their products.

 

Featured images from Facebook.

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