Avocado promotions take a “Distinctly Different” approach under Emiliano Escobedo’s influence.
Escobedo, 29, was named the marketing director for the Avocado Producers & Exporting Packers Association of Michoacán (APEAM) in 2008, after having worked for the group as an industry representative and marketing strategist since 2005.
With family in the Mexican avocado business, Escobedo first became interested in marketing produce while attending the University of Florida, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural sciences.
His family background in produce, combined with a keen eye for marketing, makes him the perfect representative for the avocado industry, said Anita Fial, president of New York-based marketing agency Lewis & Neale Inc.
“I can’t speak more highly of anybody than I can of him,” Fial said. “He’s very insightful, very smart and very directive. He’s the perfect bridge between the growers and shippers and his customers.”
Escobedo said he is energized by the continued growth of the Mexican avocado category.
“I am particularly proud for being involved in an industry which has gone from being forbidden in the U.S. to category leader worldwide,” he said. “The strategy behind our ‘Distinctly Different’ advertising campaign created awareness for avocados from Mexico in unprecedented ways.”
Growth in new markets, like Canada and overseas, also has been a bright spot, he said.
Escobedo worked with Mississauga, Ontario-based Faye Clack Communications Inc., last year to develop an award-winning promotion starring a character named Ava Cado.
The promotion had a dramatic affect on exports to Canada — up 48% during the promotion period.
Virginia Zimm, president of Faye Clack Communications, said Escobedo is a joy to work with.
“He’s very knowledgeable and understands the marketing arena,” Zimm said. “He understands what the client needs and is able to translate it — literally and figuratively. He had tremendous respect for our knowledge and gave us terrific direction for what the client needed from the promotion.”
The fall avocado merchandising program garnered six awards at the Canadian Public Relations Society’s ACE Awards.
More recently, APEAM and its Avocados from Mexico promotions celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of Mexican independence in September.
Escobedo said his work is inspired by growers and packinghouse workers in Mexico, “for their determination and hard work, every day, for providing a better life to their families.”