Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the banana marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Banana Fund. Here’s a quick look at some of the activities and achievements of 2019/20, for both the domestic and export marketing campaigns.
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 banana consumption throughout morning occasions. 2019/20 marked the second year out of three for the ‘Peel Good, Feel Good’ campaign for Australian Bananas and there were a number of activities undertaken.
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 is vital in ensuring mass market awareness of Australian Bananas and therefore made up around 50 per cent of the entire marketing campaign for 2019/20. Television activity was staggered in six bursts across the campaign, with metro markets the focus in the first half, and regional markets the focus in the second half.
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 premier programs with large audiences such as Married at First Sight, The Block, the 2019 Ashes series, the Australian Open, My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor and Dancing with The Stars. This promotion was bolstered with Australian Bananas being featured in a strong news and current affair programming including Seven News, Nine News, 60 Minutes, and A Current Affair as well as Sunrise, The Project and The Today Show.
The aim of the campaign was for at least 40 per cent of the target audience to see the ad at least two times and the campaign successfully hit every goal in market across the six bursts.
Supporting the television campaign, digital activity was run in two large bursts, the first from August to November 2019 and the second from January to June 2020. During the second burst, digital activity was increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as marketing levy spend was reallocated from investments that became less impactful, such as billboards and cinema ads. This allowed the Australian Bananas campaign to be flexible and ensure that messaging was reaching consumers in the most effective way possible.
The strategy consisted of six- and 15-second Australian Bananas video ads being played across catch-up television services, as well as six-second bumper ads shown on YouTube. This approach enabled the Australian Bananas campaign to capture younger audiences which is vital for expanding consumption for the industry. 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 95 per cent and a viewability rate of 91 per cent while serving out over 4,965,138 opportunities for people to see the content.
Cinema advertising was included to drive consideration for bananas and reinforce the creative message. It also provided Banana Fund Annual Report 2019/20 Marketing report 16 incremental reach to audiences beyond that of TV alone, as well as the ability to target main audiences by selecting titles appealing to them. This activity involved the 15-second Australian Bananas ads reaching the young family audience by being played before titles such as Angry Birds 2, Frozen 2, Jumanji, and Dr Doolittle, while the ‘young traditional’ audience was targeted through JoJo Rabbit, The Gentlemen, and The Joker. Another burst of cinema activity had been planned for April 2020, however this was removed due to COVID-19 restrictions. More than 1.1 million people were reached through the activity that did go ahead.
Out of home
To extend reach and drive frequency of key messages, the campaign invested in two large bursts of out of home advertising from August to November 2019 and January to May 2020. Australian Bananas ads were placed on transit panels, retail panels to increase consumer consideration close to the point of purchase, street panels and gyms. With COVID-19 restrictions limiting movement, the campaign moved away from transit, street and gym executions towards the end of the second burst of activity.
For retail panels, the campaign reached an audience of 9.8 million shoppers, exceeding the campaign target. Retail remains an important channel for the campaign, as research has shown that foot traffic in grocery buying environments remains stable.
Through transit advertising placements, the Australian Bananas campaign created impact with the eye-catching ‘Peel Good, Feel Good’ creative, using bold images in bright colours for maximum effect. This approach was used in the campaign takeover of Sydney’s Parramatta train station at the end of January to coincide with back to school/work time, as well as the iconic Sydney Northern Beaches B-line busses. The reach of this activity was 8.9 million people.
For the gym component of this activity, consumers were targeted during their morning visit (when two thirds of gym users head to the gym). Messages were tailored towards health and fitness, in line with the key messages of the broader campaign. This reached an audience of 6.5 million gym visitors.
The objective of the social media activity was to consistently remind target audiences to purchase Australian Bananas in a fun, engaging and disruptive way. The ‘always on’ approach ensured Australian Bananas remained top of mind for consumers whenever they were online.
2019/20 was a strong year for Australian Bananas on social media, delivering more than six million post engagements and 51.8 million impressions (opportunities to see the content) in the second half of the campaign across Facebook (www.facebook.com/AustralianBananas) and Instagram (@australianbananas). The channels continued to see high engagement rates owing to the creative and topical strategy employed.
Also in social, 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.
The Australian Bananas iconic jingle returned to radio between January and May 2020, appearing across ARN and Nova networks nationally and reaching one million listeners. Radio advertising was complemented by on-demand audio service Spotify, where six-second bumper ads were served to listeners, reaching a further one million listeners.
Public relations (PR)
The objective of the PR campaign was to generate earned media coverage through the supply of recipes, facts and interviews to press. The total combined reach of the resulting activity was a standout 438 million. Australian Bananas continued to leverage ambassadors Billy Slater and nutritionist Susie Burrell to gain mass awareness through mainstream media networks.
The second National Banana Day, held on 1 May 2020, was conducted online due to pandemic restrictions. Australian Bananas relaunched the theme of the event to ensure that as many people could get involved as possible. ‘Australia’s Best Banana Bread Bake-off’ leveraged the at-home baking trend that emerged during lockdown. Over 200 entries were received from the public and the activity generated 313 pieces of coverage reaching 16,235,751 people, eclipsing last year’s campaign results. Standout coverage was secured on TV with 9 News, 10 Daily, and in print in The Herald Sun and on the ABC radio network.
Bounty Bags are distributed in hospitals nationwide to approximately 250,000 new mums each year. Each bag includes an Australian Bananas branded banana case and a leaflet explaining the benefits of bananas as both a ‘one handed snack’ for new mums, and as a baby’s first food.
Planned product sampling of Lady Finger bananas throughout national retailers in April had to be cancelled due to pandemic restrictions. Information on other varieties could, however, be found within social posts, the website and recipes provided to press throughout the year.
The Australian Bananas website
The Australian Bananas website (www.australianbananas.com.au) has continued to grow since its ‘Peel Good, Feel Good’ refresh. Over 260,000 visitors have viewed the website including traffic that has been driven by the social and PR strategy.
Impact of COVID-19
Several planned campaign activities became less relevant as less people travelled into work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as activations in gyms, cinemas and transit panels. The investment into these activities from March to June 2020 were redirected into channels that delivered reach and cut through to target audiences. This largely meant replanning the campaign from out-of-home channels to channels such as digital and social which saw a surge of consumption.
Consumer preference during this time remained strong for products that addressed health and immunity, and this sentiment was built into the messaging of the Australian Bananas campaign. Taste and convenience were also important shopping criteria as more and more meals were prepared at home.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund