A cheesemaker sets up camp in New York’s Times Square. A yogurt maker signs a marketing deal with professional football. Another yogurt company uses sampling at a public event to build its brand. This summer, Bel Brands, Dannon and Noosa tried various marketing tactics to expand brand recognition, build trial or associate their foods with healthy living.

The Dannon Co., White Plains, N.Y., said it will be the official yogurt sponsor of the National Football League starting in 2015. The company first dipped its toe into football with a television ad for its Oikos brand yogurt during the 2012 Super Bowl game. It also advertised during this year’s game.

Dannon makes a variety of traditional and Greek yogurts and smoothies under the brands Activia, Danimals, Light & Fit and Oikos.

“We want to make yogurt more fun and more engaging because eating yogurt every day can help improve the quality of our diets, and sponsoring the NFL brings that to a whole new level,” said Sergio Fuster, Dannon’s chief marketing officer.

“Encouraging people to get active and make better food choices is at the heart of our NFL PLAY 60 campaign and Dannon’s values align perfectly with those and other NFL efforts,” said Renie Anderson, NFL senior vice president of sponsorship and partnership management.

The Laughing Cow tours the Big Apple

Bel Brands USA used digital billboards in Times Square and a 26-foot-tall inflatable version of the Laughing Cow to kick-off a new advertising and marketing campaign for its The Laughing Cow brand. The “Reinvent Snacking” campaign includes a new TV ad; new packaging for The Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese Wedges; a new flavor variety (Creamy Spicy Pepper Jack); and a freshly designed website.

Actress Gillian Jacobs (“Community”) was on hand in Times Square to talk to fans about their snacking habits. The company offered 15,000 snack pack samples of the spreadable cheese wedges.

Bel Brands USA said the new campaign aims at an expanded audience of men and women.

“Rather than focusing on calorie levels that lead us down a path of restriction, in our new campaign, we have chosen to focus on the product’s true benefits: its delicious taste and rich, creamy texture,” said Bel Senior Director of Marketing Dan Waters.

 To support its launch of two new flavors in Seattle, Colorado-based Noosa Finest Yoghurt gave away tickets to outdoor movies in Marymoor Park in the suburb of Redmond. Noosa picked up the tab (tickets are $5) for the first 500 people who visited the company’s tent at a soccer field. Guests also received free yogurt and promotional items.