Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the banana marketing levy into a range of activities to drive frequency of purchase and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Banana Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2018/19.
The Australian Bananas marketing program aims to increase domestic demand for Australian bananas by sustaining their position as the country’s number one snack, and by growing consumption throughout morning occasions.
Television played a key role in driving mass awareness of Australian Bananas and ensuring key messages were established in both metro and regional markets. Television advertising was staggered in two bursts, totalling eight weeks from August to September 2018 and January to February 2019.
Spots were secured across several key metro and regional networks including Seven, Nine, Ten, WIN, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Prime. The campaign took advantage of the strong opening programming schedule of 2019, including programs such as My Kitchen Rules and Married At First Sight. There was also a key spot in the men’s tennis finals. The aim of the campaign was for at least 45 per cent of the target audience to see the ad at least two times and the campaign successfully hit every goal in market.
Supporting the television campaign, digital activity was run from August 2018 to April 2019. The strategy consisted of a 15-second Australian Bananas video ad being played across catch-up television services, with an audio version also used across music streaming service Spotify. Meanwhile, six-second ads were shown across YouTube.
All channels surpassed the aim of a 70 per cent completion rate (viewers watching until the end) and 70 per cent viewability (viewers who see the ad).
For the second half of the year, the catch-up television strategy had an overall completion rate of 98 per cent and a viewability rate of 93 per cent while serving out over 464,726 opportunities for people to see the content. Spotify had a completion rate of 85 per cent across over 110,238 opportunities to see the content, and YouTube served over 1,420,118 opportunities with an 87 per cent completion rate.
The use of Flybuys data allowed the uplift in sales based on consumers’ exposure to the digital advertising to be measured, helping test the effectiveness of the campaign. This analysis revealed 48 per cent of users exposed to the digital ads purchased bananas during the campaign period. This saw an overall strong campaign result, with a 32 per cent sales uplift when compared to a control group.
Cinema advertising was included to drive consideration for bananas and reinforce the creative message. It also provided incremental reach to audiences beyond that of TV alone. This activity involved a mix of 15-second Australian Bananas ads played ahead of movies ranging from Dumbo and Aladdin to Captain Marvel and Avengers: End Game, plus in-foyer advertising. More than two million people were reached through this activity.
Out of home
To extend reach and drive frequency of key messages, from August 2018 to April 2019 ads were placed on panels in gyms, on street furniture and on shopping center digital screens. This reinforced key Australia Bananas messages in consumers’ minds, helped to drive action before entering a retail store and was a critical step on the path to purchase journey.
For the gym component of the activity, consumers were targeted during their morning visit (when two thirds of gym users head to the gym). Messages were tailored to health and fitness, in line with messages of the broader Australian Bananas campaign. This activity reached some 4.6 million gym visitors over 16 weeks of advertising.
There was also an on-bus and transit campaign for the second half of the year that had a reach of 4.2 million consumers, with the audience seeing the ad 4.4 times.
The objective of the social media activity was to consistently remind target audiences to purchase bananas in a fun and disruptive way. The ‘always on’ approach ensured Australian Bananas remained top of mind for consumers.
2018/19 was a strong year for Australian Bananas on social media, delivering more than six million post engagements and 30 million impressions across Facebook and Instagram. The channels continued to see high engagement rates owing to the creative and topical strategy employed, despite the increasing challenges with the platforms’ algorithms (which determine the type and frequency of content being shown to users).
TRIBE, an influencer marketing platform, was used to reach and inspire a younger audience by showcasing Australian Bananas as a feel-good snack. The content created by a range of micro-influencers was posted on their social channels as well as the Australian Bananas own Instagram.
Public relations (PR)
The objective of the PR campaign was to generate media coverage through the supply of recipes, facts and interviews to press. The total reach of the resulting activity combined was 19.7 million. This year, the number of brand ambassadors was increased, including Billy Slater, nutritionist Susie Burrell and The Bachelor’s Sam Wood.
The first-ever National Banana Day was an exciting initiative of the marketing program for May 2019. It was launched through a range of events and activities that generated national press coverage and awareness of the day, the industry, and the health benefits of bananas. Working with industry and retail partners the messaging was amplified in store. The activity generated 353 pieces of coverage reaching 11.8 million people, and included an eight-minute segment on Sunrise live TV.
The Australian Bananas marketing program continued to support various events across the country. These events were chosen based on the target demographic for the campaign. Some events attended this year included the Weetbix TRYathlon Series, Ride2Work and the MS Moonlight Walk. Over 15 events in growing regions were also supported throughout the year with merchandise and sponsorship.
Bounty Bags are distributed in hospitals to new mums. Some 230,000 bags were distributed across the year, including an ‘Australian Bananas’ branded banana case and a leaflet explaining the benefits of bananas as both a ‘one handed snack’ for new mums, and also as a baby’s first food.
In-store sampling and other varieties
Product sampling of Lady Finger bananas took place in 50 stores across Australia. Samples and recipe cards were handed out to provide education on the variety and to encourage consumers to trial and use in recipes. Information on other varieties was also featured in social media posts, the Australian Bananas website and recipes provided to the press.
The Australian Bananas website
The new-look Australian Bananas website (www.australianbananas.com.au) continued to grow since its ‘Peel Good, Feel Good’ refresh in the previous financial year. Over 250,000 visitors viewed the website across the year, including those directed via the social media and public relations strategy.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund