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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 1

Publication date: 28 February 2017

This Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 1.

New Aussie Apples and Netball Australia partnership

On February 17, 2017, Hort Innovation announced the landmark signing of a three-year sponsorship deal with Netball Australia. The sponsorship is a cost-effective way to leverage the upcoming 2017 Aussie Apples brand campaign.

The deal will see Aussie Apples gain valuable media exposure with the rise of netball in Australia, all the way from grassroots games across all states and regions, to the elite levels of the game with the Australian Diamonds in their international matches.

The new partnership will include Aussie Apples being the official fruit supply partner of Netball Australia, getting apples into the hands of netball players at all levels. There will also be television advertising, high-profile ambassador activities, signage at matches, website promotion and more.

Sponsorship covers all levels of the game including:

  • Netball Schools
  • NetSetGO – Netball Australia’s junior entry netball program
  • One Netball – Through which Netball Australia’s community engagement and social impact activities are carried out
  • The National Suncorp Super Netball (SNN) Competition, with the series launched on February 18 and screened on 9Gem, Telstra TV and the free Netball Live App
  • The Australian national team, The Diamonds, in their international series and Fast 5 Tournaments.

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

  • The target audience is families, with significant reach across netball media assets…
    • There is a total projected broadcast audience of 2,320,900 across live and replay free-to-air TV, plus Telstra TV streaming, while the Aussie Apples ad will be aired
    • There is game attendance of more than 250,000 people per year
    • The website has more than 800,000 unique users and more than three million page views per year.
  • There is alignment with the apple season (and thus the Aussie Apples marketing campaign) and the netball season, starting in February and running through until October with the Diamonds’ international series and Fast 5 Tournaments
  • Sport is a natural alignment for a healthy product such as apples
  • The breadth of participation in netball across Australia, with the game played by some 1.2 million Aussies
  • The recent growth and increased profile of women’s sport in Australia.

Netball has gained significant momentum in recent times by:

  • Confirming the sport’s breakthrough broadcast deal with Channel 9 over the next five years, which 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
  • Entry of high-profile clubs such as Collingwood and The Giants
  • Alignment with key partners such as Suncorp, Samsung, Telstra, Swisse and now Aussie Apples.

The 2017 Aussie Apples marketing campaign

With industry input, new creative has been developed for this year’s marketing activities, which will be carried out with the tagline ‘Get Your Crunch On’.

The campaign is all about getting more apples into more shopping baskets by re-energising and re-establishing apples as the go-to healthy, on-the-go snack. Its goals are to:

  • Make apples top of mind with key target audiences including families and ‘young transitionals’ (those under the age of 35 with no children)
  • To leverage the new Aussie Apples sponsorship deal with Netball Australia
  • To modernise the Aussie Apples logo for re-launch.

Key considerations for the campaign direction include:

  • Health messaging
  • The emergence of new apple varieties
  • Re-energising the apple category
  • Ensuring that messaging is clear, compelling and confident.

The campaign will be seen across television, cinema, digital and social media throughout this year’s season, with the first TV commercial airing on March 26.

This media campaign will be fully supported with public relations activity (with key messaging to focus on the partnership with Netball Australia and the upcoming launch of an apple health report). An update of the Aussie Apples consumer website, and event activity including participation at the Sydney Royal Easter Show during April and other events across the country will also be key. On top of that, there will be retailer activity, with Woolworths featuring a consumer sampling campaign across stores during March that will be supported with Aussie Apples branded aprons and apple slicers

Always on’ social media for apples and pears

Aussie Apples and Australian Pears have continued with an ‘always on’ social media campaign to ensure communication with target audiences, reminding them to purchase apples and pears more often.

The target consumer for the apples page ( is the main grocery buyer, being families with children at home. Strong use of video content and festive Christmas content at the end of 2016 saw continued high engagement and reach.

The Facebook campaign for pears ( targets a more discerning grocery buyer. Its objective is to remind consumers to cook with and snack on pears more often, and reinforce the health benefits of pears. Over the past four months of activity, Australian Pears has continued to see solid results for the engagement campaign. Since April 2016, over 850,000 consumers have been reached via Facebook, with recipe posts being particularly popular. One pear-smoothie post reached 225,395 consumers and achieved an engagement rate of over 26 per cent.

The 2017 Australian Pears marketing campaign

Elements of this year’s pear campaign are currently being organised, with an update to be provided in the next edition of Hortlink.

As part of this season’s activity, there will be continuation of the digital recipe partnership between Australian Pears and My Foodbook, following successful results in 2016. My Foodbook ( is an online recipe and cookbook destination where site visitors can create their own personalised digital cookbooks using recipes from top food brands, combined with their own ideas. My Foodbook produces professional, engaging and long-lasting content that is highly relevant to its members.

Australian Pears recipes have recently been updated, with the new, fresh and modern dishes and images covering consumers’ favourite cooking occasions including baking, snacks and salads.

Apple and pear coverage in Nourish magazine

Hort Innovation has worked with Nourish magazine to see apples and pears featured in the upcoming autumn edition. The Aussie Apples feature will highlight different apple varieties with seasonality and taste profiles, as well as health benefits. The Australian Pears feature will highlight a number of beautiful and on-trend recipes that were recently developed under the MyFoodbook project.

A new Apple Health Report

The CSIRO has completed an update of the Apple Health Report, which identifies the key health benefits of apples, as well as the claims that can be made according to Food Standards Australia. This information is a critical component to ensure the correct health messaging in used in upcoming campaigns. A PR agency has been engaged to work on the launch of this report to the media, expected to occur in April.

Export market activity

The apple and pear industry is also involved in the Now In Season program, led by the Victorian Government. Now In Season is a multi-industry, multi-country campaign that promotes Australian produce to in priority international markets. Activity under the program includes sampling and point-of-sale materials to encourage trial and purchase of Australian produce, as well as media activity. Priority countries for apple and pear activity include Thailand, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates.


These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund