- Yoplait, the yogurt label owned by General Mills, partnered with Jennifer Lopez on an Instagram Reels dance challenge that aims to keep families active and fed during the pandemic, according to a press release.
- To raise money for Feeding America, the brand is asking people to create Reels videos of themselves dancing to Lopez's new single, "Pa Ti," with the hashtag #YoplaitimeDonation. Yoplait will donate $1 to the hunger-relief nonprofit for every video shared by Oct. 30, with the goal of reaching 300,000 total posts. It pledged a minimum donation of $250,000.
- General Mills ramping up marketing on Reels is a potentially bad sign for TikTok, the video-sharing app that Instagram's feature closely emulates. TikTok popularized concepts like the social media dance challenge, but it is currently facing a ban in the U.S.
The "It's Yoplaitime" campaign is another signal that brands are taking an early interest in Instagram Reels, which closely mirrors the user experience of teen favorite TikTok. Advertisers could be eyeing Reels as a safer bet to TikTok as the viral video app owned by ByteDance scrambles to iron out a deal that will prevent its services from being banned in the U.S., a move the Trump administration has aggressively pushed for, viewing the platform's ties to China as a national security risk.
General Mills joins other deep-pocketed marketers in attempting to translate TikTok-style activations, including dance and hashtag challenges, to Instagram's fledgling lookalike. Shipt, the delivery service owned by retail giant Target, earlier this month ran a back-to-school promotion on Reels that gave shoppers the chance to win a membership and free groceries for a year if they posted "Shipt Shuffle Challenge" videos.
While some marketers could be shifting focus to Reels as an alternative in case TikTok is shut down in the coming months, Instagram's video-sharing feature has other draws, including a massive built-in audience of users and creators.
Roughly 54% of social media users have an Instagram account, while just 21.6% have one for TikTok, according to Fullscreen data shared via email. TikTok's audience is also generally viewed to skew young, landing largely in the Gen Z demographic, while Instagram commands a broader share of the market and has a more established advertising infrastructure thanks to parent company Facebook.
Facebook similarly copied Stories from Snapchat, bringing the format to a wider audience and signaling its evolution into a social media must-have, pointing to how Facebook can make up for what it lacks in innovation by using its breadth to compete with smaller, more innovative platforms.
Yoplait is courting both kids and their parents with its dance challenge, which looks to get homebound families up off the couch and spending less time on screens this fall. The cause-oriented effort is led by Lopez, who appears with her own children, Emme and Max, in videos raising awareness for "It's Yoplaitime."
Yoplait owner General Mills looks to be gearing up marketing on several fronts as a pandemic-driven spike in sales starts to cool. The packaged foods giant has gained market share in key categories like cereal during the health crisis, according to The Wall Street Journal, but it now needs to fight to retain that foothold as more regular shopping habits return.
General Mills last week resurrected recipes for several popular cereals with a livestreamed event targeting people who grew up exposed to brands like Golden Grahams and Cocoa Puffs while watching Saturday morning cartoons. Earlier this month, the company partnered with Champion on a line of activewear based on some of its leading cereal brands, including Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cheerios.