Vidalia marketing strikes musical chord

05/12/2011 03:03:37 PM
Susie Cable

This year’s big Vidalia onions promotional campaign has country music stars promoting the sweet onions through radio spots and online videos.

The Vidalia Onion Committee, Vidalia, Ga., in partnership with Universal Music Group, is promoting onions and country music. The American Favorites: Sweet Vidalias & Country Music advertising campaign features an online consumer jingle-writing contest, free song downloads, a retail display contest, country-music themed onion packaging and point-of-sale materials featuring major country music artists Gary Allan, Billy Currington, Vince Gill and Ashton Shepherd.

“Country music and Vidalias share a Southern heritage and broad-based national appeal,” said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the committee.

POS materials include display toppers, recipe pads, and shelf and price cards. Retailers can contact their Vidalia onion suppliers to order kits. Downloadable in-store advertisements also are available on the committee’s website, www.vidaliaonion.org. When a consumer purchases a country-music themed package of Vidalia onions, he or she can go online to download a free song from Universal Music’s catalog of about 400,000 songs, Brannen said.

The promotion began May 1, and the Vidalia Onion Festival helped get things rolling with a live concert by country music artist Kellie Pickler on April 30. The Vidalia Onion Committee was a sponsor and it displayed high-graphics onion bins filled with onions on stage during Pickler’s concert, Brannen said.

Gill recorded radio spots about the jingle-writing contest for in-store radio, and Allan is recording consumer radio spots discussing the contest and referring listeners to the committee’s website, Brannen said. Gill’s in-store radio spots are expected to be used by retailers in select markets in the eastern U.S. Interested retailers can contact the committee’s office, Brannen said.

Shepherd is recording a video about the jingle contest. The video is expected to be posted on the committee’s site this month.

The consumer jingle-writing contest opened May 1. “Vidalia onions are a flavor so sweet, it’s something to sing about!” proclaims the contest website, http://contest.vidaliaonion.org/. Contestants write their own Vidalia onion jingles, make videos of their songs, and then upload them to the site for judging.

Suggested jingle themes include Vidalia’s sweet flavor, favorite Vidalia recipes or memories and Vidalias’ seasonal availability.


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