With a California avocado crop about half the size as last year's, the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission will carefully target its marketing efforts this season so as not to waste valuable marketing dollars, said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing.

Programs will focus on California and the West, where avocado consumption is highest, as well as other select markets where consumers crave the state's fruit.

In recent years, there often has been a premium on California avocados of $3-8 per box, she said.

The commission's goal is to track down consumers and retailers who appreciate the consistency and satisfaction California avocados offer and reach them with the California avocado message, DeLyser said.

"For consumers who care, if they can see the California call-out, they're likely to buy more and more often because they know the experience they've had with the consistent quality," DeLyser said.

The commission will continue its Made of California program with the California by Nature tagline that it launched in 2016, but with a twist.

This year, it will be rely more on digital and social media platforms to "reach the consumers where they are," DeLyser said, such as on their smartphones through sites that get heavy participation from target customers or in the supermarket through in-store broadcasts that can be targeted specifically to stores that carry California avocados.

The commission also will turn to sites like Tasting Table that that generate content to help spread the word that California avocados are available, as well as use ideas and "engaging content that helps further the message of California avocados," she said.

Full-page and gatefold ads are planned for key market publications like Los Angeles Magazine, San Diego Magazine, Sacramento Magazine and San Francisco Magazine.

California Avocado Commission has commissioned artwork by graphic artist John Van Hamersveld that features California avocados and "iconic looks of the cities" that will be featured in the magazines from April through July.

Creative web banner ads featuring artwork from Michael Schwab, who created the Hand Grown in California label, which morphed into the California Avocados brand label, will feature messaging like "fresher, better California avocados," she said.

Some of the ads will lure viewers with movement and motion, she said.

Wall posters reproducing the print ads will be posted on city streets.

"Because of the show-and-share strategy, we're getting down to street level in high-traffic walking areas for consumers in our target markets," DeLyser said.

The commission is moving away from general market radio and focusing instead on geo-targeting, "where we reach out to the consumer who has given us permission to reach out to them on their phone and let them know that avocados are available in this market," DeLyser said.

"It's such an effective way to reach the consumer."

The commission also will reach out via Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram and will use some video concepts with key accounts over the internet and social media channels as well as custom video and editorial content with "high-engagement consumer sites."

The commission continues to work with bloggers who generate content for The Scoop Blog, and will work with chefs on some key promotions, including avocado season kickoff and California Avocado Month in June.

"There's a lot of activity going on in support of the fruit when it's available and where it's available," DeLyser said.

"We've got some good support from our key accounts who are promoting the fruit, as well."



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