( Courtesy NWPB )

The National Watermelon Promotion Board, Winter Springs, Fla., cited social media and digital programs as key parts of a successful 2018 domestic promotion campaign.

The board created more video content this year to capture consumer attention, with 20 recipe and how-to videos promoting the “Watermelon on the Go” campaign, according to a news release.

“Digital and social channels are major vehicles for our programs,” Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications for the watermelon board, said in a news release. “Additionally, we’ve seen success and increased sales when merchandising watermelon’s health, value and versatility in the produce aisle or on the menu.”

Watermelon on the Go promotions generated more than 150,000 native views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, according to the release.

“The on-the-go video campaign, combined with our educational Facebook Lives, which we host in-house, led to a growth of 28% on NWPB’s social media channels already this year,” Barlow said in the release. “We’re really pleased to see this growth as there’s increased competition for viewership in these social spaces.”

A national media tour also focused on the on-the-go campaign, resulting in three social media videos featuring Southern Living and Well Done, a video-based social-only food publication, according to the release. Time Inc. showcased the videos on its social media channel. One of the videos earned more than 5.4 million views.

Retail promotions targeted Canada, the largest export market for U.S. watermelons.

“We did our groundwork before spring to make connections in the market, and it resulted in successful in-store promotions with five Canadian retailers when U.S. watermelon was in season,” Juliemar Rosado, NWPB’s director of retail and international marketing, said in the release.

Domestic promotions focused on watermelon as a healthy snack. To merchandise the fruit as a lunch or after-school snack, the watermelon board used Ibotta, a cash back rewards app, in a back-to-school promotion. Almost three million impressions and 136,000 engagements helped move 23,400 units in four days, according to the release.

Other promotions included participating in the Produce for Kids’ “We Heart RDs” program, offering watermelon as a side option and an ingredient in the Toasted Quinoa Power Skillet at the 64-location restaurant chain Another Broken Egg.