Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the avocado marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund. Here’s a quick look at some of the activities and achievements of 2018/19.
The avocado marketing program aims to increase domestic demand for Australian avocados by at least 20 per cent by 2021. There is a focus on reminding consumers of the health benefits of avocados, inspiring them with delicious meal ideas, and building their confidence in selecting, storing and ripening avocados at home.
In 2018/19, television played a key role in driving mass awareness of avocados and ensuring key messages for Australian Avocados were established in both metro and regional markets. The goal was to reach 35 per cent of the target audience (grocery buyers aged 25 to 54) at least twice with the ad, across several key metro and regional networks, including Seven, Nine, Ten, WIN, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Prime. Across both metro and regional areas, the campaign successfully reached this goal.
In September 2018, two months of staggered television activity began with Australian Avocados securing spots on popular shows such as The Bachelor Australia, with an average of more than 800,000 total viewers per episode; The Block, with an audience of more than one million tuning in; and Survivor, with an audience averaging more than 700,000 per episode.
In 2019, a second burst of television activity was staggered across eight weeks from March to May and leveraged strong-performing TV programs such as My Kitchen Rules and Bachelor in Paradise, as well as consistently rating news and current affairs programs.
Supporting the television campaign, there was Australian Avocados digital activity from August to September in 2018 and March to June in 2019. This consisted of Australian Avocados’ standard 15-second video ad placed across catch-up television services plus music streaming service Spotify, and six-second ads across YouTube.
This campaign delivered strongly against its target of a 70 per cent completion rate (videos being watched the whole way through) and 70 per cent viewability rate (videos that are seen by the consumer). The catch-up television strategy had an overall completion rate of 91 per cent and a viewability rate of 93 per cent, while serving out more than 517,000 opportunities for people to see the content. Spotify had a completion rate of 70 per cent across more than 247,000 opportunities for people to see, and YouTube more than 905,000 opportunities to see with an 84 per cent completion rate.
The Australian Avocados 15-second ad was also shown in cinemas to drive consideration for avocados and reinforce the creative message. The total reach for this cinema activity was 1.34 million people. The ad was shown ahead of movies ranging from Dumbo and Aladdin to Captain Marvel and Avengers: End Game, and there was also a static ad displayed in foyers.
Out of home
To extend reach and drive the frequency of key messages, Australian Avocado ads were placed on panels in gyms, on street furniture and on shopping center digital screens throughout 2018/19. This reinforced key messages in consumers’ minds, helped to drive action before entering a retail store, and was a critical step on the path to purchase journey.
From August to September 2018, Australian Avocados were featured on 336 screens nationwide across a variety of shopping centres to target grocery buyers aged 25 to 54. This activity reached more than three million people an average of 5.3 times. These placements were crucial as a last point of contact for buyers on their path to purchase.
Anytime Fitness and Fitness First gyms participated in the campaign, with Australian Avocados featuring on gym panels in 250 gyms with over 2.7 million member visits within the campaign duration. This delivered more than 7.4 million opportunities for people to see key messaging about avocados.
Into 2019, from March to June the campaign included 81 shopping center panels (all in direct proximity to grocery stores), 44 street panels, a 15-second video ad across 154 Fitness First gyms and a digital panel across 755 Fitness First gyms, with the Fitness First activity also including a full-page ad within the Fitness First Magazine.
Social media was used to consistently remind target audiences to buy Australian avocados by delivering reasons why avocados make everything better. The ‘always on’ approach to this activity ensured avocados remained top of mind for consumers.
Indeed, 2018/19 was a strong year for Australian Avocados on social media, with Facebook (www.facebook.com/ AustralianAvocados) and Instagram (@AustralianAvocados) activity and Instagram activity delivering more than 27 million opportunities to see, earning more than 500,000 interactions with consumers (not counting video views), and 3.2 million video views.
The Australian Avocados Facebook page saw an increase of 16 per cent in organic (not paid) reach and more than double the average engagement rate from 2017/18. There was also three times the number of engagements (excluding video views) since last year despite lower media spend in this channel. For 2018/19, there was also the introduction of paid advertising by Australian Avocados on Instagram, resulting in 14 times the number of impressions, more than three times the number of engagements since last year, and an increase of more than 20 per cent in user-generated content shared by fans.
The use of social media influencers ensured Australian Avocados produced new and relevant content throughout the year and produced more than 10.7 million opportunities for people to see and nearly 45,000 engagements. Partnerships were developed with Aussie food blogger Leah Itsines, food content publisher 4 ingredients and personal trainer and media personality Sam Wood. Their avocado recipe content was pitched to media and shared on their own personal social media channels, as well as across Australian Avocados owned channels.
Together these influencers provided an Instagram following of over 690,000 and provided nine million opportunities for their audiences to see the key messages of Australian Avocados.
Public relations (PR)
The objective of the PR campaign was to reach out to media to in turn educate Australians on the similarities and differences between Hass and Shepard avocado seasons. The aim was to drive awareness of how to select avocados and provide inspiration on how to use the two varieties to ultimately turn Hass lovers into Shepard lovers as well, and Shepard lovers into Hass lovers too.
The campaign targeted the traditional dip in sales during the transition period between Shepard and Hass avocados. Between February and May 2019, 48 pieces of media and social media coverage were secured across a variety of platforms including TV, radio, print, online and social media. Highlights included a weather cross to an avocado farm during TV breakfast program Sunrise, a feature on Foxtel television channel Lifestyle, a piece in The Guardian, and content on the mybody+soul Instagram page.
Australian Avocados continued to be extremely popular on the digital recipe platform MyFoodBook during the year. In total, avocado recipes were viewed over 250,000 times from June 2018 to June 2019. Avocados were also featured in two seasonal MyFoodBook cookbooks: 30 Minute Meals Foodbook and Winter Warmers.
From March to May 2019, Australian Avocados partnered with taste.com.au to feature Australian Avocados in recipe content, Taste TV videos, gallery content and competitions. Avocados featured in three Taste TV videos, which were viewed over 260,000 times, and three recipe galleries, which had over 95,000 page views and featured a variety of inspiring recipes. Highlights included pieces detailing how avocados can transform cooking and a panko-crusted avocado Japanese noodle salad recipe.
The Australian Avocados website
The new consumer-facing Australian Avocados website (www.australianavocados.com.au) was launched in February 2019. The most visited pages within the website have so far included the ‘about avocados’ section and recipe content, indicating that consumers are keen to learn more and to try new ways of using avocado.
Consumer data showed that avocado-based recipes drove the highest click through rate to the Australian Avocados website and the highest volume of searches continues to be during the evening hours, showing that people are likely thinking about recipes and what to eat during the commute home.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund