Looking for the best bang for their marketing buck, Mexican hass associations this summer will target a broad array of consumers, including baseball and movie fans, home and food show attendees, and Halloween celebrators.
The Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacán, which represents growers, and the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association, which represents importers and marketers, jointly sponsor the Avocados from Mexico campaign.
The two associations plan to partner in spending more than $20 million on marketing in the U.S. this season, said Emiliano Escobedo, Los Angeles marketing director, APEAM.
“We’re putting our dollars where we can get the most bang for our buck,” Escobedo said.
Fall is a critical time for promoting avocados because supplies from Mexico and Chile typically are plentiful, but consumer demand tends to drop as summer ends, Escobedo said.
Demand for avocados during the summer is about 20% higher than the rest of the year, said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing, Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif.
Mexico’s “Big Hit” baseball promotion with Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., begins Sept. 30, said Jackie Bohmer, marketing director.
The Big Hit’s main message to consumers is that avocados from Mexico are healthful and versatile foods, Bohmer said. In-game promotions and new 15- and 30-second television commercials will run during division series baseball games and a league championship series on TBS.
In October, consumers can enter the Big Hit sweepstakes by registering on Yahoo’s baseball site. One winner will receive an Ultimate 3D Home Entertainment Package.
Big Hit ads also will appear on Turner’s websites, Bohmer said. Big Hit television and online promotions are expected to result in more than 80 million adult consumer impressions.
Avocados from Mexico will offer importers and retailers 3,600 360-degree 2011 Big Hit displays promoting avocados and baseball as part of its in-store promotion that will begin Oct. 3. The displays will feature sweepstakes information as well as a variety of recipes for salsas and dips.
The Big Hit also will include samplings at stadiums and social media and public relations campaigns.
From late August through September, the Avocados from Mexico “Taste the WOW” Tour is scheduled to stop at professional league baseball parks in various cities, home shows and expos on the East Coast.
The tour will offer up to 20,000 samples of “Pinch Hitter Dogs with Zesty Avocado Sauce,” and will distribute new recipes, nutrition information and other tips.
Tour stops will be promoted through MHAIA’s The Amazing Avocado Facebook page and its Twitter account, @AmazingAvocado. MHAIA plans to offer media passes and giveaway opportunities to local bloggers to encourage additional online coverage.
Sports tie-ins are not the only promotions avocado commissions have up their sleeves this season. The Mexican association, Hass Avocado Board, California Avocado Commission, and Chilean Avocado Importers Association will jointly sponsor a booth at the American Dietetic Association’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in San Diego in September, Bohmer said.
During the conference, MHAIA plans a book signing with Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian, chef, author, and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” television show.
In October, APEAM and MHAIA will promote avocados with a Halloween-themed campaign called “Spookamole.” Escobedo said Halloween is one of the biggest party days in the U.S., so the campaign promotes avocados for use in guacamole party dips.
Avocados from Mexico also will sponsor a Spookamole sweepstakes and a consumer photo contest. Point-of-sales recipe tear pads will be available to retailers, and the promotion will be supported with online advertising and public relations outreach.
In October and November, Avocados from Mexico will be co-marketing with DreamWorks Animation LLC’s new movie, “Puss in Boots.” The movie is scheduled for release in theaters on Nov. 4. On Nov. 6, an estimated 13 million homes will receive ad inserts promoting a Puss-in-Boots and Avocados from Mexico sweepstakes.
Retailers can participate in display contests, and Puss-in-Boots point-of-sale materials will include posters, recipe pads and a life-size standing display.
“We believe that children will want to eat more avocados because they’re associated with (the movie),” Escobedo said.
APEAM and MHAIA expect to get more than 427 million media impressions in three months of online marketing and print, radio and television advertising, Escobedo said.
Television ads promoting Mexican avocados as “distinctly different” are to air in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., for a total of eight weeks beginning in November, Escobedo said.
MHAIA also plans to continue a nationwide print advertising campaign for the 2011-12 season in food and health and fitness magazines, Bohmer said.
Social media is an important marketing component for Avocados from Mexico, Escobedo said. As of Aug. 5, more than 14,400 people had “liked” the campaign’s Facebook page, and more than 1,900 Twitter accounts were following @guacgrl.
“It is a platform that will enable us to grow significantly,” Escobedo said. “Every campaign we do has a connection to Facebook and Twitter. We’re spending quite a bit of resources to grow that.”