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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 3

Publication date: 13 September 2017

This Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 3.

Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the apple and pear marketing activity into a range of activities to grow awareness and consumption of the fruits, under the Hort Innovation Apple and Pear Fund.


Television campaign

Aussie Apples had its second burst of TV advertising in July, with the ‘Get Your Crunch On’ commercial seen on both metro and regional television. The 15-second spots featured during popular programs such as Australian Ninja Warrior, MasterChef, and Here Come the Habibs.

Throughout August, the same Aussie Apples television ad appeared during programs including Nine News, Seven News, The Project, Have You Been Paying Attention, RBT, Britain’s Got Talent and The Big Bang Theory all of which rate well with the key apple-buying demographic of bustling families. The advertising was shown to be viewed by 40 per cent of the grocery-buying target audience at least twice during this run of activity.

Digital activity

The latest wave of Aussie Apples’ digital activity started at the end of July and results for the first two weeks proved encouraging. This activity compliments complements the television advertising, with 15 second and 30 second pre-rolls (video that plays before the content the user has selected) running across a number of placements to help build reach and awareness for Aussie Apples.

Video was broadcast more than 154,000 times across desktop, tablet, mobile and connected television platforms, and in the first two weeks, 66 per cent of the target audience watched the Aussie Apples content in its entirety.

The best-performing placements of the video content are on catch-up and connected TV services such as Plus7, 9Now and TENplay. 9Now gave the best results due to the popularity of The Block television program.

Placement on premium publisher sites such as The Herald Sun, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have resulted in 154,000 broadcasts.

Netball Australia sponsorship

As part of the ongoing sponsorship as the official fruit supplier to Netball Australia, Aussie Apples has supplied apples at the grassroots level to Netball Victoria clinics.

In July, apples were supplied to the Diamonds Training Camp in preparation for the Quad Series and International Series netball.

NetFest 2017 will also be a great opportunity for Aussie Apples to be sampled and attract high brand exposure. NetFest is a mass-participation netball event for those aged 18 and over, run by Netball Australia. Held on the Gold Coast from October 12 to 25, NetFest will offer a choice of traditional (outdoor) and beach netball tournaments as well as Fast5 Netball tournaments.

Aussie Apples ambassadors

Three high-profile ambassadors from Netball Australia’s Diamonds squad have been secured: players Paige Hadley and Caitlin Thwaites, and Netball Australia dietitian Kerry Leech.

Paige Hadley and Caitlin Thwaites will promote Aussie Apples through interviews and social posts, and in a video featured through social media and Netball Australia. The video, which was due for release during September, will feature the netball ambassadors communicating the key messages from the CSIRO Apple Health Report (see below), as well as other women from different walks of life. It will be a feel-good piece inspiring Australian women to do away with negative body images and embrace a feel-good, happy attitude to life while eating whole, natural and healthy foods.

Dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan has also been secured as an Aussie Apples ambassador. She has been working with Kerry Leech to develop a healthy eating program as part of the Netball Australia sponsorship. This nutrition guide will be for girls who play netball and want to eat healthily and perform at their optimum, and was due to be released during September.

CSIRO Apple Health Report

The CSIRO summary, commissioned by Hort Innovation, involved reviewing the abstracts of 122 studies on apples and their health benefits, published in scientific journals between 2010 and 2016. The review has provided the following key messages for leveraging by the industry:

  • Heart health: An apple a day is good for your heart
  • Weight: Regularly eating apples can help control your appetite and assist with weight loss; apple eaters are more likely to have a lower body mass index (BMI)
  • Cancer: Regularly eating apples is associated with a reduced risk of some of the most common forms of cancer
  • Gut health: Emerging research shows eating apples is associated with healthier gut bacteria
  • Children’s health: Kids who regularly eat apples are more likely to have a lower BMI, better nutrition, a better diet and are at a lower risk of obestity.

Public relations activity – health and lifestyle media

The key messages established by the Apple Health Report has formed the basis of a lifestyle media outreach.  A generous hamper of apples with a new apples variety chart and ‘snack hacks’ was distributed to 10 key health and lifestyle media targets, as well as a health-led media release and tips and tricks from campaign ambassador Dr Joanna McMillan.

Hampers where sent to:  Australian Women’s Weekly, Huffington Post, New Idea, Body + Soul, Good Health, Kidspot, Women’s Health, Food to Love, Sporteluxe and News Local.

These media influencer hampers have so far generated more than 50 pieces of coverage reaching more than 6.3 million people. Apples featured in Nine Coach, The Carousel, Better Homes and Gardens, Food to Love, Motherpedia and Westfield Online. Campaign ambassador Dr Joanna McMillan also posted all social content across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Social media activity

In June, over 409,000 people were reached by Aussie Apples content on Facebook. The campaign, which focused on video content, delivered 917,000 impressions to users over the month. The engagement rate, which includes all comments, shares, likes and video views, was at a substantial 38 per cent in June (14 per cent higher than the April content, and well above benchmarks).

These great results are driven by increased usage of rich-format video content, and allowing Facebook to optimise delivery of this content toward driving video views.

New Aussie Apples website

The Aussie Apples website,, is now live. The new consumer-facing site has a fresh new look and feel, and includes new recipes, variety charts, video and other features. The site will continue to be updated with interesting content, and will also feature the addition of a grower portal where brand materials and other industry information can be accessed by growers.

For the site, new recipes showcasing apples have been developed with a fresh, modern and on-trend style which will inspire people to snack on apples or use them in cooking.


At the recent Ekka in Brisbane, held during August, the Aussie Apples and Pears exhibit was swamped with showgoers enjoying apple slices and pear smoothies. Roughly 400,000 people attend the Ekka to watch the competitions, enjoy shows, wander the pavilions and indulge in some shopping.

The majority of showgoers were female (72 per cent) with at least one child in tow – fitting the target market exactly.

Aussie Apples has also contributed to PR and events in Tasmania, the Royal Adelaide Show and the Perth Royal Show.


Media and influencer event

An exclusive pear event for media and influencers was held at Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro in the newly established Barangaroo precinct in Sydney during June.

Attendees included Woman’s Day, Body + Soul, Good Health,, Coles Magazine, Food to Love, The Healthy Food Guide and My Kitchen Rules winners, The Gourmet Pommies.

Head chef Hamish Ingham treated guests to a special menu showcasing a range of pear varieties and their versatility in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Meanwhile, pear grower Jimmy Kalafatis provided insights into pear farming, pear varieties and picking/storage tips, while dietitian and ambassador Rebecca Gawthorne presented health benefits and easy usage tips.

The event ignited conversations among influencers and drove social media coverage. It generated more than 80 media/social posts reaching some 2.9 million people, and 50 media stories reaching 8.6 million people.

The pears launch attendees were also invited to enter a competition to post on the hampers they were given at the event, which contained ingredients to cook with pears. Almost 30 entries were received as part of the #perfectpearing social competition, which added to the social coverage.

Social media activity

In June, Australian Pears Facebook content reached more than 288,000 people, and the engagement rate with the video content posted to the page was high.

In July, a video-focussed approach was employed. The aim was to redefine the positioning of Australian Pears on social media, to deliver more purposeful content to fans and to stimulate engagement and growth of the online community for Australian Pears.

There were four posts in July, which reached 729,100 people. The top performer was a post titled ‘Nothing compears to you’, a fun video putting a pear spin on the hit song Nothing compares 2U. The strong result indicates the Australian Pears audience is most responsive to fun content that may have a nostalgic or cultural feel to it.


At the recent Ekka in Brisbane, held during August, the Aussie Apples and Pears exhibit was swamped with showgoers enjoying apple slices and pear smoothies. Roughly 400,000 people attend the Ekka to watch the competitions, enjoy shows, wander the pavilions and indulge in some shopping.

The majority of showgoers were female (72 per cent) with at least one child in tow – fitting the target market exactly.


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