(July 16) Zespri International Ltd., New Zealand’s kiwifruit marketer, has launched a three-month Spanish-language campaign aimed at encouraging Hispanic consumers in the Chicago area to eat more gold kiwifruit.

The kiwifruit venture will involve billboard, bus shelter and radio advertising, in-store sampling, community events and public relations. The campaign has been coined “Tu Pila Natural” — “Your Natural Battery” — said Jill Dahlstrom, communications associate for The Oppenheimer Group, Seattle, Zespri's North American marketing arm.

Radio ads began July 10 and billboard and bus shelter advertising are slated to begin the week of July 22, Dahlstrom said.

Karen Brux, Zespri North America business manager, said those of Hispanic descent comprise the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. and their preference for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables makes this audience a logical one for the campaign. Hispanics comprise 13% of the American population, but make up 26% of Chicago’s residents, she said.

In addition to the advertisements, the kiwifruit will be featured at three major Chicagoland Hispanic festivals.

Fiesta del Sol, a family-oriented festival; Viva Chicago, a celebration of Latin music and culture; and Fiestas Patrias, the Mexican independence day series of events involving parades and festivals, figure to attract an estimated 1.5 million people.

Using a range of point-of-sale materials throughout the festivals and in-store sampling sessions, Zespri will display shelf danglers, counter cards and banners within the 40 targeted stores, as well as stickers, tattoos, fans, magnets and rulers for kids.