For the first time, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association, the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association, the California Avocado Commission and the Hass Avocado Board have combined forces to take part in a category-wide media buy, said Jose Luis Obregon, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board.
The joint effort involves the Fox Sports Network and will be the backbone of the avocado industry’s fall promotional program.
The program will feature “a broad-reaching TV campaign” that will continue through the college football season, a 30-second hass avocado TV commercial airing on the FSN, FX and HTS networks, a 15-second spot that will promote an avocado recipe contest, and tailgate events that will feature hass avocado sampling at major college football games, Obregon said.
Winner of the avocado recipe contest will receive a trip to the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif.
With the four organizations pooling their efforts for the Kick Off theme, “We capitalize on economies of scale,” Obregon said.
Grower-shippers seem pleased with the cooperative setup because it takes some of the pressure off individual marketers, said Jim Donovan, vice president of business development for Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif., and chairman of the Hass Avocado Board.
“(The associations) are the machines to do the heavy lifting of promotion work out there,” he said, leaving grower-shippers to work on their own promotional programs with individual customers.
The associations have done joint programs in the past, but this is the first time all four groups are participating in the same promotion at once.
“Even though every association has its own individual program, the boards of directors from each association have seen the value of having joint promotions,” Obregon said. “It’s a sign that these programs are working.”
Sporting events, especially football, always have provided opportunities to promote avocados.
“Over the years, the Super Bowl has been amazing for the category,” Obregon said, “so why not try to do a bunch of mini Super Bowls throughout the college football season.”
Individual associations may plan their own events drawing on the football theme, he said.
The Hass Avocado Board will promote avocados and the recipe contest on Facebook, Twitter and the website Sports.AvocadoCentral.com, he said. E-mail blasts and game day menu planning tips also are in the works.
The board will have spokesman Jay “The Tailgate Guy” DiEugenie promoting avocados during 10 live TV appearances and at 10 consumer tailgating events and grilling competitions.
HAB also will distribute news releases with two tailgate-themed recipes, tailgating tip videos and a national news release focusing on fall tailgating with hass avocados, Obregon said.