Retailers key to Sesame promotion

03/31/2014 08:36:00 AM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstToday is the big day for the unveiling of the PMA-Sesame Street tool kit. I saw a near-final version of the tool kit late last week, and the 22-page document offered five attributes that make Sesame a winning brand. They are: real, heartfelt, simple, furry and funny.

I have to agree that the Sesame Street brand winningly represents all of those attributes, and produce marketers will have impressive access to nine Sesame Street characters: Abby Cadabby, Bert, Big Bird, Ernie, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar and Rosita.

The tool kit is fairly precise about the ways the Sesame art and characters can be displayed on retail displays and on packages. For example, the “eat brighter!” companion logo is typeset in all lower case letters, with an exclamation point. The logo will run at a 5% angle, according to the tool kit.

It will be fascinating to see how broad the reach of this campaign will become. With the biggest national produce association backing it and top marketers serving on the task force that helped developed the tool kit, one assumes the Sesame Street campaign will be big enough to enter the stream of public consciousness.

If indeed that is the case, the brand attributes of real, heartfelt, simple, furry and funny will only help consumer perceptions of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But how will the industry deliver the Sesame Street message? There is no children’s department in the fresh produce aisle. What commodity marketers will lean on Sesame Street branding more than others? Bananas, apples, oranges, corn, peas, grapes, cherries, pineapple all seem kid-friendly choices, but what about mushrooms, turnips or hot peppers?

While produce marketers will have their say, the attitude of major retailers toward the campaign will be the most significant factor in the success of Sesame Street-PMA push.

Given the low risk but potentially high returns, large chains such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and SuperValu should waste no time in embracing the “eat brighter!” promotion hook.



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