Apple and pear marketing update – 2017 season start

With the start of the new season, there has been a spike in marketing activity from Hort Innovation with the commencement of their 2017 apple and pear marketing campaigns.

Have you seen the new television commercial? Watch it now!

Aussie Apples netball sponsorship

Hort Innovation has signed a ground-breaking three-year sponsorship deal with Netball Australia that will see Aussie Apples gain valuable media exposure with the rise of netball in Australia. The deal covers all the way from grassroots games across all states and regions up to the elite levels of the game with the Diamonds – Australia’s national team – in their international matches.

Netball is the perfect sport for Aussie Apples to partner with given:

  • Our target audience is families and Netball Australia can effectively reach this audience across their range of media assets:
    • The total projected broadcast audience across live and replay free-to-air TV and Telstra TV streaming is 2,320,900 when our Aussie Apples advertisement will be aired.
    • Game attendance of more than 250,000 people per year.
    • 1.2 million people in Australia play netball.
    • More than 800,000 unique users and over three million page views per year of Netball Australia’s website.
  • The apple season and the Aussie Apples marketing campaign align with the netball season that started in February and runs through until October with the Diamonds international series and Fast 5 Tournament.
  • Sport is a natural alignment for a healthy product such as apples.
  • The breadth of participation in netball across Australia.
  • The recent growth and increased profile of women’s sport in Australia.
  • Sponsorship is a cost-effective way to leverage the upcoming 2017 Aussie Apples brand campaign.

Netball has gained significant momentum in recent times through:

  • The sport’s landmark broadcast deal with Channel 9 over the next five years that will see games broadcast in primetime on free-to-air television for the first time.
  • The rising profile of netball’s star players such as Laura Geitz, Sharni Layton and Gretel Tippett.
  • The entry of high profile clubs such as Collingwood and The Giants.
  • The alignment with key partners such as Suncorp, Samsung, Telstra, Swisse and now Aussie Apples.

Aussie Apples is now the official fruit supply partner of Netball Australia and the sponsorship covers all levels of the game including:

  • Netball Schools
  • Net Set Go
  • One Netball
  • The National Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) competition
  • The Diamonds – in their international series and Fast 5 Tournaments.

The Suncorp Super Netball series launched on Saturday 18 February where it screened on 9Gem (with two matches live each round), Telstra TV and the free Netball Live app. Game two of the launch week was the highest rated, watched by over 123,000 people across the five major capital cities alone.

The Aussie Apples sponsorship of Netball Australia is under the Hort Innovation project AP15516.

15 Instagram from 9Netball showing Aussie Apples banner

Netball match in front of the new Aussies Apples signage (Source: @9nebtall Instagram)

2017 Aussie Apples marketing campaign

With industry input, a new creative has been developed for Aussie Apples, with the tag line of ‘Get your crunch on’.

The brief to the agency was to create a campaign that would grow sales by getting more apples into more shopping baskets by re-energising and re-establishing apples as the go-to healthy on-the-go snack in a way that is engaging and relevant to the target consumer.

The purpose of the new 2016/17 campaign is to:

  • Make apples top of mind with our key target audiences of ‘families’ and ‘young transitionals’ (households  with no children, and under the age of 35).
  • To leverage the new Aussie Apples sponsorship of Netball Australia.
  • To review the current Aussie Apples logo and modernise for re-launch as part of the campaign.

Key considerations for the campaign direction are:

  • Health messaging.
  • The emergence of new apple varieties.
  • Re-energise the apple category.
  • Ensure that the message is clear, compelling and confident.
  • Develop an idea with longevity that builds equity but can maintain relevance.

The media plan for the campaign represents outstanding value for the budget we have and will be seen across television, cinema, digital and social media throughout the 2017 apple season.

The first TV commercial will air on Saturday, 25 March 2017 and the media campaign will be fully supported with:

  • Public relations activities including key messaging to focus on the partnership with Netball Australia and the launch of the Apple Health Report.
  • Digital activities including an update of the Aussie Apples website.
  • An experiential activity whereby Aussie Apples will have a stand at the Sydney Royal Easter Show from 6 to 19 April 2017 that will showcase a range of apple varieties available at that time for consumers to taste. We will also be at other royal/agricultural shows around the country throughout the year.
  • Retailer activities with Woolworths activating a consumer sampling campaign across their stores in March which will be supported with Aussie Apples branded aprons and apple slicers.


Thanks to the growers and industry representatives who assisted with the development of the new campaign. This includes input into the creative brief from Gavin Wylie and Rowan Little, Montague; and Hannah Cathels, N&A. The Marketing Reference Group who saw the creative agency’s presentations: Craig Chester, APAL; Julian Carbone, Lenswood Co-op; John Power, Batlow Apples; Scott Dunk and Hannah Cathels, N&A; and Gavin Wylie, Montague, along with additional growers on the evaluation panel.

The new “Get your crunch on” slogan and branding for the Aussie Apples 2017 campaign.

The new “Get your crunch on” slogan and branding for the Aussie Apples 2017 campaign.

Facebook advertising campaign

The Aussie Apples and Australian Pears Facebook pages have continued with our campaign to ensure that we are communicating with our target audiences and reminding them to purchase apples and pears more often.

The target consumer for Aussie Apples is the main grocery buyer of families with children at home.

Aussie Apples had an excellent month in November 2016 with an average engagement rate (the percentage of people who saw the post who interacted with it by liking, sharing and commenting on it) for the month of 10 per cent. This was largely due to the use of video content. December was another good month with the top post being ‘They’re the perfect edible Christmas decoration’, which did well due to the fun and relevant Christmas theme and achieved an engagement rate of 7.5 per cent. Another good example was the ‘Lucky horse’ post that reached 158,053 consumers and achieved an engagement rate of 12.4 per cent. Aussie Apples had a great month in January for engagement rates, all four posts were well above the account benchmark. The top post for January was Picking season is about to kick off. This post did well due to sparking a lot of conversation around when varieties are available and fans beginning to think of varieties as seasonal rather than just ‘apples are available all year round’. The education behind this was well received by fans.

The Facebook advertising campaign for Australian Pears targets a more discerning grocery buyer with the objective of reminding consumers to cook with and snack on pears more often, and reinforces the health benefits of pears.

Over the past four months, the Australian Pears Facebook page has continued to deliver great results and, since April 2016, we have reached over 850,000 consumers.

A recent successful post was ‘A spring smoothie’ that reached 225,395 consumers and achieved an outstanding engagement rate of 26.3 per cent.

Apple Health Report

The CSIRO has completed an updated Apple Health Report that identifies the key health benefits of apples, as well as the claims that we can make according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. This information has been a critical component to ensure that we have accurate and defensible health messaging in our upcoming marketing campaign. A public relations agency has been engaged to work on the launch of this report to the media, which will happen in conjunction with the 2017 apple marketing campaign.

Australian Pears – MyFoodbook

Australian Pears will continue a partnership with MyFoodbook (a recipe and cookbook site) following the successful results in 2016. The Myfoodbook community includes more than 200,000 subscribers, and promotes recipes to more than 2.8 million people each month. We have recently updated our recipes to be more current and to cover our consumers’ favourite cooking occasions of baking, snacks and salads.

Visit and sign up to have a look at this exciting cooking community and to receive exclusive emails and recipe books.

A selection of Australian Pear recipes as they appear on the My Foodbook website.

A selection of Australian Pears recipes as they appear on the My Foodbook website.

2017 Australian Pears marketing campaign

The creative, media and the Request for Proposals to undertake the work for the 2017 Australian Pears marketing campaign were sent out to public relations agencies, and have now been contracted. The new Out of Home campaign launches in April, and will involve posters featuring different pear smoothies being displayed in Gyms nationwide, with the gym locations picked based on their proximity to food grocers and major retailers. We are honing in on consumer education and health as the focus for this activity, and will help reach our core audience and will deliver reach in excess of 600,000 per week across the six weeks of activity. The Out of Home activity will be complimented by digital activity, which will leverage our existing MyFoodbook content, as well as using a natural complimentary channel with mobile phone use in gyms. This activity will yield over 1.8 million impressions over an eight week period. Planning for the Pears PR activity is also underway.

Nourish magazine

Hort Innovation has been working with Nourish Magazine, which has a readership of 175,000 and Aussie Apples and Australian Pears will be featured in the upcoming autumn edition. The Aussie Apples feature will highlight different apple varieties with seasonality and taste profiles, as well as the health benefits as identified in the Apple Health Report. The Australian Pears feature will also highlight a number of beautiful and on-trend recipes that were recently developed under the MyFoodbook project.

Easter Show

Aussie Apples and Australian Pears will once again be exhibiting in the Food Farm at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is the largest annual event of its kind in Australia – more than 900,000 people are expected to attend over 14 days.

This year, we will be selling apple slinkies and pear smoothies, as well as showcasing our new creative on the stand.

By |March 21st, 2017|Hort Innovation, Hort Innovation apple and pear marketing, Marketing|

About the Author:

Marketing Manager, Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd
02 8295 2336