Texas watermelon campaign focuses on Lone Star residents

06/15/2010 08:18:13 PM
Don Schrack

The Texas Watermelon Association, Weatherford, is taking its Go Texan message into homes statewide.

Courtesy Texas Watermelon Association

A series of television commercials featuring chef Michael Flores will promote Texas watermelons in the Lone Star State.


The association, in a partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture, is airing a series of television commercials featuring celebrity chef Michael Flores.

“It’s the first time the watermelon association has had a television campaign,” Flores said.

In addition to creating watermelon recipes for the campaign, Flores wrote and produced 30-second commercials in English, 15-second commercials in English and Spanish and 8 two-minute cooking and recipe vignettes in both languages, he said.

In each commercial and vignette, Flores urges shoppers to look for the Go Texan logo on the watermelons, he said.  

The commercials are running in flights, which means the messages are broadcast frequently but often skip a few days or even weeks, into September, Flores said.

“We’re concentrating the commercials very heavily just prior to the holidays,” he said.

Flores also is making appearances on some of the state’s top rated local programs.

The Go Texan watermelon campaign, which has a $70,000 budget, Flores said, is airing in the state’s five major markets:

  • Austin;
  • Dallas;
  • Houston;
  • the Rio Grande Valley; and
  • San Antonio.

Stations in those markets reach nearly 80% of all Texas viewers, he said.

Television stations in the state’s smaller markets may use the vignettes on air or use the material on their Web sites, Flores said.

A San Antonio native, Flores is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, an author, culinary instructor, food consultant and the owner of a specialty foods company. He also has served as a spokesman for other food products and groups including the National Dairy Association and the Mexican Avocado Council.

The watermelon association is considering a national television campaign for 2011, providing funds are available, Flores said.

An option Flores has suggested to the association and state officials, he said, is for several Texas commodity groups to pool their money to fund a national campaign.



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