Arla was first in the market to launch a protein yoghurts and drinks range. By 2019, the category was busy, and retailers were losing interest. With low penetration and below-category benchmarks for awareness, consideration and differentiation, Arla needed to relaunch the brand with immediate impact across four markets.

With no increase in media budget, we needed a bold new brand platform that would capture our audiences’ attention in a cluttered category.

How we helped

We unlocked an unacknowledged truth to create a powerful position for Arla Protein in category and in culture. Over the last ten years, protein has broken out of niche bodybuilding communities to become a mainstream trend synonymous with health.

We identified our audience as ‘active achievers’ who enjoy working hard towards their fitness goals. In fact, effort and working hard is key to their social identity. However, the health industry undermines their efforts by making progress look easy. From transformation photos to appetite suppressant lollipops, the industry sells quick fixes.

But protein is not superficial. We used social listening to identify its centrality in active achievers’ motivation. Put simply, Arla Protein feeds your mindset to improve. Our strategy champions the efforts people make, rather than miracle cures. We believe the only thing really strengthening you, is you. Not protein, not even Arla, but you. We don’t set alarms or book training sessions. What we do is feed active bodies with delicious, natural protein that empowers you. Other brands might take the credit for your efforts. We don’t. Because protein is nothing without your inner drive to do what it takes.

What happened next

Our ‘Feed your Drive’ campaign launched with a provocative 20” film, ‘Protein doesn’t make you stronger’.

The video is the antithesis of superficial fitness hacks pushed on social media. We challenged convention by emphasising mindset, not body type, showcasing enjoyable ways to exercise, and embracing imperfections like stumbling and sweating.

The launch film ran across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, supported by a series of shorts showing activities distanced from gym regimens, such as rollerblading, skipping and yoga.

As the ‘Protein doesn’t make you stronger’ campaign introduced Arla Protein to new audiences, supporting assets showcased a product and benefit linked to purchase drivers like taste or health. In the UK, we embodied our brand platform, ‘Feed Your Drive’, even further through the first ever Arla partnership with Strava. Creating a motivational Strava Challenge for our community of active achievers, we helped Arla Protein activate their brand platform meaningfully to build relevance and engagement with an audience critical to their success.


Initial campaign testing was strong with high scores for cut through and brand appeal, and other qualities crucial to the cluttered social space.

Whilst the campaign is still running, initial results are promising:
• Denmark reporting a 92% completion rate for the hero 20” YouTube film
• Overall sales for 2021 up +40%, a significant turnaround compared to several years of decline.

The Strava partnership successfully tapped into the active achiever audience, generating 2.45 million distinct impressions. 203,071 Strava members participated, and 91% completed.

Watch this space for more success…