Keeping apples and pears front-of-the-mind and making sure consumers know how to get the best from them underpins levy-funded marketing investment. Hort Innovation’s Olivia Grey shares some of the successes of the 2018 campaign.
Most of the above-the-line advertising – advertising that targets a broad range of consumers via mass media (i.e. television, print radio and the internet) – for Aussie Apples wrapped up at the end of August.
Aussie Apples finished its television campaign on 1 September and hit every reach goal in every market. As part of the four weeks of television advertising that aired from July to August, the Aussie Apples commercial featured in top performing shows like Ninja Warrior and MasterChef Australia. Aussie Apples had eight weeks of television in total for 2018.
Aussie Apples also had a presence on radio, with the campaign running from April up until the beginning of September. Over the course of the campaign, 754 spots ran across Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
The final element of the above-the-line campaign was the digital activity. This activity involved playing the 15-second television commercial across relevant websites, six-second bumper ads on YouTube, and 15-second audio ads on Spotify. All benchmarks for each facet of the activity were exceeded, and over the course of the campaign (April to August 2018) an amazing 5.5 million impressions were delivered to consumers (an impression is the display of an ad to a user while viewing a web page).
Our public relations (PR) campaign (Pathways to boosting apple and pear consumption, Australian Fruitgrower, Oct/Nov 2018) has delivered strong coverage. To date, there have been 66 pieces of Aussie Apples coverage across print and digital with a reach of over 25 million nationwide. SBS Food featured the interview with Dr Joanna McMillan and latest apple health research; Woman’s Day featured the Aussie Apple Waldorf Salad recipe which is now live on the Aussie Apples website; and News.com.au featured the latest research, and also featured it across their outlets around the country;
- The Daily Telegraph
- The Mercury
- The Courier Mail
- The Herald Sun
- The Advertiser
- Gold Coast Bulletin
- Townsville Bulletin
The Aussie Apples website has also been updated to include several new Aussie Apples snacking recipes, including Apple Pie Gyoza’s, Apple Taco cups and Cinnamon Spiced Apple Chips. A ‘tips and ideas’ section has also been added, featuring articles that have storage tips and lunchbox inspiration ideas. These recipes and articles can be used by growers on their own channels.
This campaign activity is having a strong effect on consumers, with ad recall on a consistent upward trend. In recent consumer testing, consumers were shown the Aussie Apples television commercial and YouTube ad and are asked whether they remember seeing any of these or similar ads from this advertising campaign. In early 2017, this prompted recall was sitting at eight per cent. In the most recent testing, this had shown strong growth, increasing to 26 per cent of respondents claiming to have seen the ad.
Consumer tracking results have been very positive
- The number of people stating that they are buying apples weekly or more has increased from 51 per cent in 2017 to 58 per cent in 2018
- The number of people stating they are likely/very likely to purchase apples in the next two weeks has also increased when compared to 2017 and 2016.
Social media activity
Australian Pears social media activity continues to attract and engage consumers. In September 2018, Australian Pears launched on Instagram. Throughout September, content was promoted across Facebook and Instagram to educate consumers about pear varieties and ripening indicators, tips for selection and ripening. Delicious pear recipes were also promoted. Over 1.4 million people were reached with pear content in September 2018.
Tribe is a marketplace connecting brands with social media influencers, helping brands find everyday people to celebrate them through beautiful content. Australian Pears have partnered with a number of Instagram influencers to craft content under the pillars of Ripening, Packham Pears and Bosc and Corella Pears. To date, 95 pieces have been posted by relevant influencers, resulting in over 83,000 engagements (likes, views and comments), showing that the content is engaging with the target audience.
Australian Pears were featured in a double page spread in three leading magazines (Super food ideas, delicious and Taste). The article talked to the different pear varieties, including their seasonality, flavour profiles, uses and ripening indicators. The article also featured ripening information.
Following great results from in-store demonstrations from November 2017 to January 2018, a further 200 sampling sessions were conducted nationally across Woolworths and Coles in August and September 2018. The objectives were to drive awareness of pears in-store to keep them top-of-mind at the point of purchase, educate consumers to give them the confidence to choose ripe pears or ripen them at home, increase varietal awareness, and, ultimately, to drive sales.
Major pear varieties were displayed to explain their difference in flavour, ripening and seasonality, and sampling wedges of Packham pears provided. Demonstrators also handed out leaflets that contained information on ripening, the different varieties, seasonality and recipe tips. Shoppers were really interested in learning about the ripening techniques for pears and different varieties, and found the leaflet very informative. The positive consumer feedback also translated to sales – over the campaign, Woolworths saw an amazing 11 per cent increase in sales in stores where sampling occurred when compared to the pre-sampling period. Sales of 1kg prepacked Packhams rose 53 per cent.
To deliver educational messages with impact, media drawcard and trusted voice Justine Schofield was secured as the campaign ambassador. The ex-MasterChef contestant and star of Everyday Gourmet provided her secrets for picking the perfect pear and insights on how to ripen pears for a media release. She also created two recipes showcasing Australian pears, which were professionally photographed for media use.
To reinforce the selecting and ripening messages a tip sheet was also created for media. These materials were shared to high reaching outlets with a hamper containing all the ingredients to make Justine’s Grilled Pear and Halloumi Salad. To date, Australian Pears have already had coverage in Body +Soul, Best Recipes and 9Kitchen. Australian Pears were also featured on a segment on Studio 10, with Justine demonstrating her Grilled Pear and Haloumi salad.
A social influencer program was also undertaken to reach our target audience with educational messages about selecting pears. Rebecca Gawthorne (2017 Australian Pears ambassador) and Leah Itsines were commissioned to deliver education and usage inspiration using Instagram posts, as well as videos and Instagram stories. Combined, these two influencers have over 582,000 followers on Instagram.
Pear consumer tracking shows some really positive trends:
- 60 per cent of respondents claimed they were likely/very likely to purchase pears in the next two weeks, up from 53 per cent in the same period last year
- 86 per cent of consumers now they are knowledgeable of pear ripening and different varieties – an improvement of 8 per cent in the last 3 months alone
- There has also been a consistent upward trend of consumer’s preference for pears as a snack, and the data shows that pears are increasingly being used in different usage occasions.
These industry marketing initiatives are managed by Hort Innovation and are funded by the apple and pear marketing levy. This content has been prepared by the Hort Innovation apple and pear team. Growers are welcome to contact Apple and Pear Marketing Manager Olivia Grey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 8295 2387) with any questions relating to the marketing program.