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 2019/20, for both the domestic and export marketing campaigns.
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 2019/20, 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 30 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. Australian Avocados also received over 1,400 bonus placements across the campaign across regional channels.
The Australian Avocados TV campaign launched in market in early March 2020, securing a spot in Channel 9’s Married at First Sight and aligning with the top peak programming the networks had on offer such as My Kitchen Rules, Australian Survivor and Channel Seven’s Doctor Doctor. Driving efficiencies through daytime TV, Australian Avocados featured in general entertainment programming such as Home and Away, First Dates, GoggleBox and Dancing with the Stars, which proved to be a consistently rating hit with the target audience. Finally, the Avocados TV buy was underpinned by the news and current affair programming slate of the networks including Seven News, Nine News, A Current Affair and The Project.
Supporting the television campaign, there was Australian Avocados digital activity from July to December 2019 and March to May in 2020. This consisted of Australian Avocados’ standard 15-second video ad placed across catch-up television 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 99 per cent and a viewability rate of 92 per cent, while serving out more than 660,000 opportunities for people to see the content. YouTube had a completion rate of 92 per cent across more than 4.4 million opportunities for people to see, and more than 850,000 opportunities to see with a 95 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 activity was split over two periods. The first ran from July to October 2019 and the second from January to February 2020. Each period was intended to have two bursts of a four-week period. However, in 2020, the activity drew to a close early due to COVID-19, with the remaining funds reinvested into digital activity. The ad was shown ahead of movies ranging from Toy Story 4, Pets 2 and The Lion King, to Fast & Furious, Dr Doolittle, Birds of Prey, Jumanji and Boys for Life. The activity was supported by digital screens in the cinema foyer providing an additional touchpoint.
Out of home
To extend reach and drive the frequency of key messages, Australian Avocado ads were placed on panels on large format billboards, street furniture and retail panels across two bursts of activity, with the first burst from August to November 2019 and the second burst from February to April 2020. The objective of out of home activity is to drive top of mind awareness along the path to purchase.
Across the retail channel Australian Avocados were featured on 804 screens nationwide across a variety of shopping centres to target grocery buyers aged 25 to 54. This activity reached more than 3.5 million people an average of 4.9 times for the landscape panels and 12.2 times for the portrait panels. These placements were crucial as a last point of contact for buyers on their path to purchase.
Large format panels ran in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA in high traffic areas on the path to purchase. A total of 13 were bought with an added 13 bonus panels. Street furniture was also leveraged as an important medium along the path to purchase. This activity reached over 3.5 million people on average 4.7 times. 548 panels were bought as part of the media buy and there were 62 added bonus panels.
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 throughout the year.
Australian Avocados delivered more than 30 million impressions via social media in 2019/20 via the campaign’s Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AustralianAvocados) and Instagram (@AustralianAvocados) pages. These activities exceeded all key performance indicators and generated over 4.8 million engagements including 3.7 million video views.
Despite a seven per cent decrease on media spend compared to last financial year, the 2019/20 campaign delivered a 13 per cent increase in impressions and a 25 per cent increase in engagements. Instagram stories were used for the first time during this campaign and this move drove strong results and was the most cost-effective social channel for reach. There were more than twice as many links to recipes (75k) in 2019/20 compared with 2018/19, partly as a result of the introduction of Instagram stories advertising.
The Australian Avocados Facebook page maintained its audience size of 194,910 in 2019/20. Highlights included securing 13 million impressions and 2.7 million engagements at an engagement rate of six per cent, up from two per cent in 2018/19. Instagram went from strength to strength with a 39 per cent growth in fans in 2019/20. Highlights included 17.2 million impressions and 2.1 million engagements at an engagement rate of nine per cent, up from two per cent in 2018/19.
The use of social media influencers ensured Australian Avocados produced new and relevant content throughout the year and produced more than 19 million opportunities for people to see and nearly 4.5 million engagements. Two top tier foodie and health influencers were engaged this year: Lyndi Cohen (dietitian, TV nutritionist and author) and Luke Hines (trainer, author and clean eating foodie) to create and share avocado recipes. Recipes were amplified through traditional media channels and Australian Avocados owned channels, coinciding with the public relations campaigns Avotherapy and Varieties. Three micro influencer campaigns were held to create user-generated content which also coincided with the public relations campaigns.
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 2020, 159 pieces of media and social media coverage were secured across a variety of platforms including TV, radio, print, online and social media resulting in a total of 30.3 million opportunities to see.
Two bursts of media activity were planned to announce the seasons for Hass and Shepard avocados underpinned by research that identified gaps in consumers knowledge about Shepard avocados. The PR campaign leveraged the high profile of the influencer Luke Hines to be a spokesperson for the brand and to create a new suite of recipes.
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 614,000 times. They were also featured in two recipe galleries, which had over 45,000 page views and showcased a variety of inspiring recipes, and two recipe collections which were viewed over 75,000 times. The best performing recipe was the ‘Healthier Snickers Dessert Cups’ recipe which overdelivered in video views by 332 per cent at 332,365 views.
The Australian Avocados website
The Australian Avocado website (www.australianavocados.com.au) is growing in popularity with 278,217 users in 2019/20, up 62.36 per cent from 2018/19. From a demographic point of view, 75 per cent of users are female and 25 per cent male. Over 494,000 pages were viewed this year, up 63.42 per cent from last year. The highest traffic was to the recipe page with 45,000 visitors and the Guacamole recipe page which saw 42,702 visitors. There is consistent traffic to the website between 10am – 8pm. However, there is a spike between 3pm – 6pm when people are looking for recipes and meal inspiration.
In response to the changing consumer landscape as a result of COVID-19 and restrictions in place across the country, Australian Avocados moved quickly to reevaluate marketing activities in 2020. This ensured that the campaign was timely, relevant, and remained impactful among shoppers and consumers during such a unique period. Where relevant, existing assets were used to support key messages of health, simplicity and taste to align with consumer interests and preferences during COVID-19 restrictions.
Due to the impacts of food service closures, Australian Avocados responded with a campaign to dial up communications encouraging more in-home consumption of avocados. This included identifying two immediate needs for Australian Avocados to drive in-home consumption:
- Ensuring consumers understand how and why avocados can positively benefit them and their health during the COVID-19 lockdown
- Educating consumers on how to use avocados at home, Shepard avocados and the differences from Hass (and the change in season), and the versatility of the product across a range of meals/occasions.
A review of the mix and approach to media ensured approaches were still fit for purpose off the back of COVID-19 and to ensure top of mind awareness of Australian Avocados and drive demand for in-home consumption.
Television: The investment from the final week of scheduled TV activity was shifted into digital channels (where people were spending their time and results were being seen) to further engage with consumers and drive in-home consumption.
Radio: More radio spots were shifted into breakfast and afternoon programming (when more people were engaged), and investment was also moved into streaming services, to capture both those at home and those essential workers still travelling to work and using their cars.
Out of home activity: Street furniture, large format, train station billboards and transit outdoor media had been in market for some time already and as the activity could not be cancelled it continued as planned. It remained an effective channel while there were people still active. Retail panels remained an important part of the campaign as supermarkets became important sources of inspiration for consumers.
Cinema: With cinemas closing during lockdown, all cinema activity was cancelled. These funds were reinvested into a partnership with Taste.com.au.
Taste.com.au: A partnership was entered into with Taste.com.au, as described further up the page.
Varieties campaign: The varieties education campaign had begun when COVID-19 started to have an impact in Australia and the messaging was shifted slightly in response to include a greater focus on health and simple recipe inspiration. Further, an exclusive avocado cooking segment with Luke Hines scheduled for Studio 10 changed from an in-studio appearance to socially distanced filming in his kitchen.
Social media: Social media content was reviewed to ensure communication of correct messages and appropriateness of the tone of voice during this time. Messaging was shifted more strongly towards health benefits of avocados and simple cooking inspiration at home, tapping into the love of smashed avo on toast and guacamole as avo staples. Specifically, campaign changes included additional posts focussed on the #smashanavoathome activity, including videos from Australian avocado growers sharing how they #smashanavoathome.
#smashanavoathome campaign: Extending beyond social media, in April this new campaign was launched, also involving public relations and paid influencers to support the purchase of avocados given food service closures due to COVID-19. The #smashanavoathome campaign focused on health, consumption occasions including breakfast, and messaging around the simplicity and versatility of the avocado. The campaign included:
- Media outreach that encouraged Australians to engage in ‘Broadband Brunching’ and #smashanavoathome, supported by new avocado on toast recipes utilising simple ingredients and pantry staples
- Two partnerships to make it easier for consumers to order in their avocado staples, including partnerships with Sonoma Bakery and alcohol delivery service Boozi.
Australian Avocados were showcased under the Taste Australia program in Malaysia during 2019/20. This included included in-store sampling and point of sale materials, media events, retailer advertisements, retailer social media collaborations, ready to eat food collaborations with retailers’ in-store restaurants and lastly a ‘Eat Now, Eat Soon, Eat Later’ supermarket display program. In total, 107 sampling sessions were held across Jaya Grocer, AEON and Village Grocer, with popular recipes for shoppers being avocado smoothies and guacamole. The participating retailers reported an uplift in sales between 17 per cent and 122 per cent. Under the Eat Now, Eat Soon, Eat Later merchandising program, a total of 32 stores took part between Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer, reporting a sales uplift of 72 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.
Other activities in export markets during the financial year:
- In July 2019, the ‘Tasty & Nutritious’ Australian Avocado campaign was launched to announce the start of the new season as well as the versatility and health benefits of Australian Avocados. More than 30 key media figures attended this event, achieving 61 pieces of media coverage across print and online.
- Social media was used to educate consumers on the health benefits of Australian avocados and to provide fun and engaging content to further their understanding of the farm to plate story. The Taste Australia Facebook and Instagram platforms were used as a promotions tool, as well as partnering with Village Grocer and Jaya Grocer on their own channels. In total, a reach of 80,000 was achieved.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund