Celebrities including Katie Couric are endorsing SweeTango apples on their podcasts, part of a media blitz involving YouTube ads and social media. ( Courtesy Fiction Tribe )

SweeTango apple growers are enlisting big names in promoting the apple this season, with Katie Couric and others using podcasts, YouTube, social media and other platforms to reach consumers.

The media blitz spans the apple’s peak season, September through November. Celebrity endorsements include TV journalist Couric, comedian Paul F. Tompkins and “Top Chef Masters” judge Francis Lam.

The campaign ventures into new territory for a fruit/vegetable, said Cristie Mather, from Fiction Tribe, the Portland, Wash., creative agency that does SweeTango consumer marketing.

“SweeTango apples can be counted among the first fresh produce brands to utilize podcast advertising in its consumer marketing mix,” Mather said in a news release.

Ads are scheduled to air on seven podcasts, with messages that focus on SweeTango’s crunch and flavor:

  • “The Katie Couric Podcast;”
  • “Spontaneanation,” with Paul F. Tompkins;
  •  “The Splendid Table,” with Francis Lam;
  • “Gastropod;”
  • “The Sporkful;”
  • “Make Me Smart;” and
  • “Spilled Milk.”

The 15- and 30-second pre-roll YouTube commercials are inspired by real SweeTango fans showing the same enthusiasm in the grocery store as sports fans do on game day. The ads direct YouTube viewers to retailers who stock SweeTangos, through a link to SweeTango.com, which has a map showing the retail locations.

SweeTango’s social media channels will feature the campaign, airing commercials with “Year of the Fan” content, according to the release. Contests and give-aways throughout the campaign include clothing and six-packs of fresh SweeTangos. Other content will allow the brand to take advantage of trending topics, according to the release.

SweeTango, introduced in 2009, is grown by a 47-member cooperative known as Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative. Growers are throughout the U.S. apple growing regions.

North American SweeTango marketers include:

  • Stemilt Growers;
  • All Fresh GPS;
  • Ferguson’s Pepin Heights LLC;
  • Fowler Farms,;
  • New York Apple Sales; and
  • Scotian Gold Cooperative.