Violife: looking beyond the dairy-free aisle

Key Points

  • Violife  wanted to become a worthy competitor to all cheeses - not just dairy-free
  • They needed to increase brand awareness beyond vegans to all cheese lovers.
  • Campaign resulted in a 39% increase YoY in unit sales in 2019

The Challenge

Violife have been experts in vegan cheese since the 1990s and are very well known amongst the vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian communities.  Whilst a plant-based lifestyle has surged in popularity in recent years, there was still significant work to be done to change the perception of dairy-free cheese. And whilst Violife were market leaders in the UK, they needed to look beyond the dairy-free market for growth, to make Violife a competitor for all cheeses, not just dairy-free cheese.

The TV Solution

Although the vegan revolution was still relatively new, cheese eaters overall represented a large proportion of the UK population so reach was key.  VCCP knew that there was only one channel that could ensure this mass reach – TV.

The Plan

Harnessing the flexibility of TV was fundamental so that Violife broadcast to multiple audiences. It was essential that existing vegan brand champions weren’t alienated as the focus moved beyond them and into the broader cheese market. The TV campaign would be seen by both groups without alienating the reach of either. The creative reflected that, with two 20” ads based around the tagline, ‘Maybe we’ve made dairy free too easy – welcome to the Violife”.

The ability of TV advertising to drive talkability was also significant, enabling Violife to leverage conversations between their younger vegan fan-base and their non-vegan friends and family.

Three distinct campaigns ran, enabling Violife to condense budgets and maximise reach and frequency, particularly amongst younger, upmarket audiences. January was key in launching the campaign due to the much publicised ‘Veganuary’.  Airtime was solely concentrated on the Channel4 ‘foodie’ portfolio before spreading out onto ITV, Sky and Five during the second burst and finishing on Channel4 during the final part of the campaign.

Frequency was key in enabling Violife to rub-shoulders with the most well-known grocery brands. By using daytime, increasing weekend weight and repeating appearances in peak programming, frequency was kept as high as possible against the key ABC1 25-44 audience.


  • Violfe moved away from the specialist shelf and into the eyes of broader grocery shoppers for the first time.
  • Violife saw a 39% increase YoY in unit sales in 2019, with TV credited as the ‘hero channel’.
  • Their campaign has also benefitted the whole category, which has grown 28% between Q1 & Q4 in 2019.
  • TV spend has increased 150% YoY as a result of the campaign.

From the start ff the campaign, VCCP had a clear understanding of the role of TV within our strategy and championed its effectiveness throughout. We are thrilled with the results and intend to use TV as an integral channel within our strategy throughout 2020.

Thania Drakopoulou Marketing Manager, Arivia/Violife


Sector: FMCG

Brand: Violife

Campaign objectives: To drive reach

Target Audience: ABC1 25-44

Budget: £500-2M

Campaign Dates: The campaign ran from Jan-Dec 2019

TV Usage: 20” spots

Creative Agency: VCCP

Media Agency:  VCCP

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