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 2020/21.
The 2020/21 avocado marketing program was divided into two phases in response to market conditions over the course of the year:
- Phase 1 - Defend the premium and iconic status of Australian Avocados and encourage consumers to actively choose Australian Avocados.
- Phase 2 – Drive the premium and iconic status of Australian Avocados by leveraging the inherent love Australians have for avocados.
PHASE ONE: JULY 2020 – FEBRUARY 2021
The first phase of the program was designed to deliver maximum reach and cut-through to drive visibility during the busy holiday period. The aim was to get the target audience to develop a strong preference for Australian Avocados and encourage them to think about various ways they can use avocados across key occasions. A core focus was to remind consumers to add avocados to their shopping basket and to check they are buying Australian Avocados at key periods in the year. A range of activities were undertaken across a variety of media channels to achieve this reach and cut-through for both the Hass and Shepard seasons.
A partnership was established with Urban List to promote in-home gourmet dining, timed to coincide with the final weekend of Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown. The ‘Isolation Degustation’ brand activation featured Australian Avocados in the first course of the meal and included marketing collateral to drive home key messages about avocados. This activity generated 28,000 article page views, 48,000 e-newsletter opens, 50,000 video content views, 5,700 social media engagements and 400 degustation boxes delivered, demonstrating that the partnership connected with consumers at a time when they needed it the most.
Retail out of home
1,700 advertising panels in high traffic retail sites were used to inspire consumers along the path to purchase. Recipe ideas were shared across multiple meal occasions and paired with a strong call to action of “add an Aussie avo”.
A combination of 30-second brand advertisements and live advertisement reads by hosts were part of the radio activity across two radio networks, ARN and Nova. The activity reached over 2.6 million main grocery buyers aged 25-54.
The on-air activity was complemented by digital support in the form of a competition promotion and digital advertising content. This component of the campaign performed well with Facebook activity exceeding the KPI by four times and consumers spending an average three minutes on the articles page, demonstrating the relevancy of the content. Results include 470 competition entries, 51,656 reached on Facebook, 2,884 competition page views and 8,494 page views. Competition winners were chosen from each metro city, and entries were judged based on their creativity and use of Australian Avocados.
The media provider Nine was leveraged to create content with a focus on engaging videos. The Good Food and Nine Honey brands included talent videos (with Adam Liaw, Malaysian Australian cook, television presenter and author), written recipes, quick recipe videos and digital display advertising. Dwell times were especially strong for the Good Food content especially with foodie audiences. The videos featuring Adam Liaw received over 11,000 views, more than 22,000 video views with a dwell time of over five minutes.
The social media component of the campaign delivered over 15 million impressions (opportunities to see the content). The core KPI of this particular activity was reach, which was achieved cost-effectively and resulted in 61 per cent more impressions volume than forecasted. This meant the Australian Avocados brand messages reached more people with a strong call to action. Across the target audiences, Instagram delivered the highest engagement rate ahead of Facebook. Top performing content highlights included the return of the Shepard season and the Aussie Avo Ale launch.
The primary role of the public relations campaign was to drive awareness and build brand recognition, while also encouraging consumers to purchase Australian Avocados. To build on the brand position of Australian Avocados ‘Makes Everything Better’, an Aussie Avo Ale was created in collaboration with Grassy Knoll brewery. This partnership was established to prove that Aussie Avos Make Everything Better, even beer, and to highlight the flavour, versatility and ‘aussieness’ of avocados ahead of the summer months.
The campaign included a brand spokesperson, Hayden Quinn, and was amplified through traditional public relations channels and micro influencers. The campaign delivered 197 earned media hits with 11.9 million opportunities to see the avocado beer content.
The ‘Aussiest Avo’ campaign to showcase the benefits of Shepard avocados was also launched. Many Australians are unaware that Shepards are uniquely Australian grown and have many product benefits such as not oxidising when cut open, with their distinct green and gold colour lasting longer without browning.
The campaign focused on the Shepard variety as Australia’s relatively unknown national treasure by encouraging consumers to be proud of Australia’s only uniquely grown avocado, while also profiling its versatility and nutritional benefits. The campaign included a partnership with Luke Hines who developed three Shepard avocado recipes and talked about why this variety is his favourite.
The ‘Aussiest Avo’ campaign delivered 80 earned media hits with 36.7 million opportunities to see the Shepard-focused content.
PHASE TWO: MAY -JUNE 2021
Please note that this summary only covers the first two months of the phase 2 campaign, but reports results up until 30 June 2021.
The object of phase two of the program was to drive the premium and iconic status of Australian Avocados by leveraging the inherent love Australians have for avocados. A new domestic brand campaign – ‘Our Green Gold’ was launched across a range of media platforms, targeting consumers on the path to purchase. The objective of the campaign was to emotionally connect with Australian consumers and build brand love to help drive preference of Australian Avocados, grow unaided brand recall and drive consideration.
Television and digital
Television was an important channel for Australian Avocados to reach the target audience at scale and drive top of mind awareness. Activity featured 15-second and 30-second advertisements across both the Seven and Ten networks, targeting top performing programs including Bondi Rescue, Sunrise, MasterChef - The encore, The Project, and Big Brother. This component of the campaign reached over 1.2 million main grocery buyers aged 25-54 at least two times.
Out of home advertising
To extend the reach of the campaign and reinforce key messages for consumers on their path to purchase, digital and static creatives were used across out of home advertisements. These included outdoor advertising (e.g. billboards) and street furniture (e.g. bus shelters) in high traffic and a mural in one of Sydney’s most iconic suburbs, Kings Cross. Retail out of home advertising in proximity to supermarket was also included to help reach shoppers on their way to their grocery shop. Reminding them to not only pick up Australian Avocados in store but inspire them on how to use them. There were a total of 1,913 out of home placements included in this activity delivering strong brand messages.
Radio was utilised as an effective channel to build reach quickly. A combination of brand advertisements and live contextual reads were part of the radio activity across two radio networks, ARN and Nova. These included a strong call to action to remind Australians to buy an Australian Avocado by providing inspiring recipe ideas. This element of the campaign reached 2.4 million main grocery buyers aged 25-54, which is 56 per cent of the potential audience and at an average frequency of 5.8 times.
Social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram are a cost-effective way to interact with the Australian Avocados target audience and connect with them on a personal level.
With the new brand platform ‘Our Green Gold’ the content pillars for the marketing campaign have evolved to:
- Sponsors of Green Gold - Content that amplifies the platform and motivates community participation to build an emotional connection
- Mastering Green Gold - Content that educates people about Australian avocados and their health and wellbeing benefits
- Green Gold moments - Food and recipe content that inspires people to choose and use Australian Avocados more frequently.
The social media component of the campaign delivered almost 17 million impressions (opportunities for the content to be seen). The core KPI of this particular activity was reach, which was achieved cost-effectively and resulted in 84 per cent more impressions than forecasted. This meant the Australian Avocados brand messaged was able to reach more people with a strong call to action.
To extend the reach of television to lighter television viewers and build reach and frequency of key messages, the 30 second video advertisements were featured across catch up television and YouTube. On catch up television, Australian Avocados delivered 26 per cent of forecasted views hitting more than 421,000 completed views at a video completion rate of 96 per cent, reaching almost 360,000 users. On YouTube, Australian Avocados delivered 43 per cent of forecasted completed views hitting more than 242,000 completed views at a video completion rate of 56 per cent reaching 196,000 unique viewers.
Public relations activity saw Australian Avocados sponsor small community and/or sporting groups which would never receive official sponsorship yet are an essential part of Australian life. To create a strong earned media moment and provide a springboard for a national call out for sponsorship, Australian Avocados engaged with one Australian green and gold institution – The Balmain Bowling Club to kick things off and bring the essence of the campaign to life.
The first Australian Avocados community sponsorship drive went live mid-May and the winning entries included Jamberoo Ice Hockey team (SA), Blackbutt Avocado Festival (Qld), Leederville Sporting Club (WA), and the Royals ‘Guacamoles’ Netball Team (Qld).
Further results from Phase 2 of the avocado marketing campaign
The ‘Our Green Gold’ campaign is performing well, with 4 in 10 Australians recognising the campaign when prompted. Awareness of the campaign is slightly higher among males and younger life stages.
The intended messaging (avocados are distinctly Australian) cuts through clearly. 71 per cent of respondents echoed this spontaneously after seeing the ad in full. The campaign is well understood, and the credibility of the message is strong.
The campaign is highly enjoyable, relevant, and drives positive sentiment for Australian avocados. This is particularly true for older life stages (50+ / empty nesters). The campaign was seen as ‘distinctive’, ‘involving’, and ‘pleasant’, leaving viewers with a positive feeling after watching.
Positive attitudinal shifts have already been seen, notable around more emotional associations of pride and excitement. Health remains the strongest association, but the campaign is in a strong position to continue to embed associations as distinctly Australia.
Following the start of the campaign, significant uplifts in purchase intent have been seen. While most key behavioural metrics are stable, there were slight reductions in barriers to purchase among non-purchasers of avocados.
Key results from the campaign so far include:
- 1 in 4 Australians recall the Australian Avocado logo (26 per cent)
- 40 per cent prompted recall of the campaign against a norm of 23 per cent, with TV and digital mediums dominating campaign recall
- After watching the TV ad, 71 per cent claimed that the main message of the campaign was that avocados are Australian
- The entire Our Green Gold campaign has been received very positively with:
- 80 per cent saying the campaign was enjoyable
- 65 per cent saying the campaign was aimed at people like me (relevance)
- 60 per cent saying that they had a better opinion of Australian Avocados
- The campaign scores high in distinctive, involving and pleasant performing above norms
- More emotive avocado associations such as pride and excitement are coming through
- Most importantly, 2 in 3 consumers (66 per cent) are more likely to purchase avocados after seeing the campaign.
The avocado marking campaign will include two digital campaigns in the target markets of Singapore and Malaysia to support the peak Hass season from July 2021. Key opinion leaders (or influencers) in both markets will drive the messaging of health benefits of avocados as well as selection, handling, and ripening. Due to COVID-19 in these markets, activities were delayed until 2021/22.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund