Cosmopolitan has been labelled as one of the most popular international women’s magazines in the world, which begs the question, why on earth did they steer away from anything other than their specialities of relationship advice, sex, dating tips, fashion, health and celebrity news?
Well sex sells and don’t we all know it, but in 1999 Cosmopolitan somehow “made a connection between sex and dairy” (Jensen 2013), more specifically, sex and yogurt… Bizarre you say? Well Cosmopolitan called it something different – a “fetish”.
And if you thought yogurt was bad, it didn’t stop there! Cosmopolitan also launched Cosmopolitan Light Soft Cheese as well as Cosmopolitan Fromage Frais (Brook 2004), also known as creamy, fresh cheese. This whole idea came from a survey that suggested “65% of readers had used edibles in the bedroom” (Marmite 2011), somehow I don’t think the respondents were referring to cheese or yogurt….
Cosmopolitan assumed their new “sexy” dairy product would be an instant hit overnight because of the popular magazine’s success, so they scrapped the idea of any form of marketing, advertising and promotion (also known as “piggybacking” off an established brand)… Oh how wrong they were. Although somehow I don’t think the world’s best marketing plan could have even saved this product from failure.
Cosmopolitan Yogurt hit the supermarket shelves priced higher than competing brands because of their “sophisticated and aspirational nature” (Over 2008)… Yes, that’s right, sex and yogurt was classed as “sophisticated”.
After a whole 18 months, the Cosmopolitan Yogurt was taken off the shelves, leaving probably a mere 0.001% of the population disappointed, and a lot of high-up Cosmopolitan executives quite embarrassed.
After this monumental failure, Cosmopolitan came to a simple conclusion that they should stick with what they’re good at, like “what men want”, “what to wear” and “love and astrology”…. Basically anything but dairy products.
In all the Cosmopolitan magazines I’ve buried my head in over the last few years, there has never been any mention of sex tips or feature articles using dairy, or worse, cheese and yogurt. So rest assured, this product won’t be returning to the dairy aisle any time soon, we hope….
Brook, S 2004, ‘Spin-off brands more likely to fail’, The Guardian 7 September, viewed 16 March 2014
Jensen, A 2013, Freaky Fresh Marketing, #FAILFriday: Cosmopolitan Yogurt, weblog post, 1 November, viewed 16 March 2014
Marmite, V 2011, Marzipan And Marmite, A Cosmopolitan Failure, weblog post, 9 November, viewed 16 March 2014
Over, G 2008, Glossed Over, Cosmopolitan: The Magazine for Fun, Fearless, Female Food Shoppers, weblog post, 18 September, viewed 16 March 2014