Ogilvy & Mather Greece: The Lacta story, so far…

This guest post was written by Panos Sambrakos, Executive Creative Director at OgilvyOne Athens. 

Lacta chocolate has been a symbol of love for generations in Greece. Since the early 90s, all communication for the brand has been in the form of love stories, traditionally as :30 second TV commercials, and more recently in the form of branded content, with an online short in 2009 (“Love at first site“), a crowdsourced TV movie in 2010 (“Love in Action“) and a feature film released in theaters in 2013 (“Love in the end.“).

But in recent years, due to the economic crisis, priorities have started to shift for young Greeks. Instead of searching for true love, they focus first on pursuing a career. At the same time, Social Media has forever altered the way people flirt.

In an age when people didn’t believe in the value of love and didn’t want to invest in it, our mission was to keep the Lacta brand and its love theme relevant.

An integrated campaign was launched in 2014 with a new TVC that talked about the effort one needs to make in order to make a relationship work. It described how much it is really worth to invest in love and how you can find someone that completes you. The main message being “Make the first step, because #LoveDoesExist”.

social media campaign asked people to post messages using the #LoveDoesExist hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Lacta’s Facebook page with the promise of posting selected messages. Selected messages appeared as online display ads, YouTube pre-roll videos and out-door posters on bus stops around Athens. Users could even select the location of the bus stop where their message would appear.

In order to further raise awareness of the social issue and show people how important it is to invest in love, Lacta made an hour-long documentary titled “Does Love Exist?” that aired on the eve of Valentine’s Day as a prime time TV special.

In the documentary an actor, famous for his leading roles in love stories, sets out on a quest to talk with young people and discover how important love is to them. In his journey he talks with people ranging from 30-something singles and rappers recording love songs, to people who have made a conscious choice to be alone.

To balance the viewpoint, the documentary also featured happily-married couples and people in new relationships.

A psychology professor analyzed the young people’s hesitation to invest in love, offering the advice that by falling in love, one has the best chance to discover their true self and grow as a person.

The documentary managed to attract a 17% viewer share during prime time with more than 1.55 million viewers. That day the #LoveDoesExist hashtag became the number #1 trending topic on Twitter in Greece.

On Valentine’s Day, when the complete documentary was posted on Facebook it gathered 130,000 views, 22,000 likes and 37,000 shares. The documentary sparked a discussion that had many people commenting on how much it made them reevaluate their priorities and their stance on love.

Even though Lacta still held its place as the leading milk chocolate brand in Greece, 2013 marked a year of downward sales trends. The new campaign managed to turn around the brand’s negative trend, as Lacta succeeded in gaining the highest value market share of the last 3 years during the week of Valentine’s day, gaining +2.6pp Share Of Market vs that of 2013. (AC Nielsen, Scanning Data).

Additionally, in February Lacta earned February approximately 75% Spontaneous Brand Awareness, increasing by +3pp vs 2013. (TNS Ad. Tracking).

See the complete documentary, subtitled in English below.

Please visit the documentary’s webpage for more information: