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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2017, edition 1

Publication date: 28 February 2017

This Hort Innovation Mango Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition1.

Mango Mess-tival

Back on December 4, the annual Mango Mess-tival was celebrated at Bondi in New South Wales. Held in partnership with the North Bondi Surf Club (NBSLSC), Mess-tival honours the peak of mango season and the start of summer, and this year marked the event’s fifth birthday.

As in previous years, NBSLSC nippers faced-off in mango flag races and mango relay races, whilst off the sand, mango-eating competitions saw nippers go head-to-head against parents and members of the public in the hopes of winning a tray of fresh mangoes.

Once again, mango growers flew in from around the country to share their produce and educate the public on different varieties and taste profiles of Kensington Pride, Calypso, R2E2 and Honey Gold. These growers included Greg McMahon, Emma Harrison, Muy and Erika Keav, Steve Beaty, Gavin, Rebecca and Julie Scurr, Jake Zalm, Karen Muccignat and Melanie Groves.

This resulted in the highest sampling figures ever, with 8800 mango samples taste-tested by Sydney consumers – an increase of a 3.5 per cent on last year, and representing an average of 37 samples per minute.

Also featured were:

  • A social media photo booth, which saw 939 members of the public have their photo taken with promotional Aussie Mangoes gear, fresh mangoes and #mangoemojiplease campaign signs. Their shot was then printed out and shared digitally with over 13,000 family and friends.
  • Intricate mango carving demonstrations, with beautiful flower sculptures made from fresh Aussie Mangoes handed out.
  • A brand-new, unique activity: a smoothie bicycle! Throughout the day, consumers hopped on board a bicycle and furiously peddled to blend their very own fresh mango smoothie.

Mess-tival media coverage and results

The smoothie bicycle featured on one of Weekend Today’s six live weather crosses. Other events featured in the crosses included mango eating competitions, grilled mango hedgehogs on the barbecue, flower carving demonstrations and mango relay races. This broadcast was watched by over 300,000 people around Australia.

The mango festivities were also captured in The Daily Telegraph’s Best Weekend events planner section, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum magazine, and The Wentworth Courier. Moreover, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull stopped by to taste-test a mango flower, which was broadcast on Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC’s nightly news bulletins, as well as Channel 10’s The Project.

Social media influencers also came down to join in the celebration, with Instagram’s @BonnyRebecca, @Emily_Hunt and @NourishingNicola sharing the fun with their community, while Channel 7’s Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage tried her hand at the smoothie bicycle and shared an image to her Instagram, which was picked up by The Daily Mail Australia.

In total, this year’s Mess-tival press office coverage and social media influencer activity reached over 14 million people – six million more than last year.

While Mess-tival is designed to drive demand and keep mangoes top-of-mind for consumers throughout the festive season, the day’s efforts also go towards raising funds for North Bondi Surf Club, to support training and the purchase of much-needed life-saving equipment. This year saw a huge $16,820 raised, contributing to a grand five-year total of $70,320.

The mango emoji campaign

Based on last season’s large amount of social engagement referencing the need for a mango ‘emoji’, Aussie Mangoes decided to introduce an overarching stream of communications for this season – an official campaign for a mango emoji.

While the overall goal is to drive the international Unicode Consortium (the worldwide authority for emojis) to introduce a mango emoji in their next official update, the key objective for the campaign is to generate engagement and activity among mango audiences.

Campaign coverage and reach

The major campaign platforms have been the Aussie Mangoes’ Facebook and Instagram pages, which have regularly included emoji campaign content. On the Instagram page there have been six posts referencing the campaign, which have received over 1020 likes and a large number of comments. On the Facebook page there have been four dedicated posts, generating almost 2850 likes, 177 comments and 342 shares.

Support has also been garnered from digital influencers, with the campaign included in all Aussie Mangoes influencer outreach and gift packs throughout the season. As a result, many of Australia’s most popular health and foodie Instagrammers and bloggers have included the official mango emoji campaign hashtag, #mangoemojiplease, in their posts. This has seen a total of 34 posts generate a massive 48,422 likes and 1020 comments.

Brands and influencers in the wider Facebook community have also shared posts in support of the emoji campaign, with content using #mangoemojiplease posted and shared by:

  • Virgin Mobile Australia
  • Weis
  • Queensland Agriculture
  • Eat Pray Workout
  • The Biting Truth
  • Are We There Yet?
  • RecipeTin Eats
  • The Mango Show
  • Northern Territory Country Hour
  • Calypso Mango
  • Yoga Food
  • Healthy Eating Jo
  • Ken Vowles: Member for Johnston.

Meanwhile, the wider Instagram community has also jumped on board, with the #mangoemojiplease hashtag stream seeing 464 posts since the start of the season. The community has also begun using another hashtag, #whereisthemangoemoji, which has seen 257 posts thus far.

The campaign has also generated interest from mainstream media, with articles written by the ABC online, The Katherine Times, Nine Kitchen, and discussed on ABC radio in October and December. These publications reach a combined 5,726,072 people, meaning the campaign has been glimpsed by at least one fifth of the population.

The next steps

With a huge amount of support behind the emoji campaign, the next stage is beginning with the drafting of the official proposal for submission to the internal Unicode Consortium. The proposal must prove mangoes meet a number of selection criteria and will include not only the data generated from the social media campaign, but general statistics about the significance of mango production and consumption in Australia and the world. The emotional and symbolic significance of mangoes will also be leveraged to prove compatibility, potential for alternative usage (for example, mangoes can represent summertime) and expected usage levels (with mangoes speaking to Instagram’s trending foodie, summer, tropical places and hot weather content).

The proposal will be submitted in March, with an indication on whether the proposal will move forward for review at the next Unicode Consortium meeting in May. If successful, the mango emoji would appear in the 2018 emoji update.

Mango famils

Each year, Aussie Mangoes sends influencers or journalists on ‘famils’ (media familiarisation trips) to Australian mango farms, allowing the individuals to spend time with growers and learn about the industry, which they then share with their communities.

This year, two famils took place. The first at the end of November and involved Anthony Huckstep, a national food and restaurant critic for delicious magazine and contributor for a host of other Australian foodie titles. Anthony paid an overnight visit to Peter and Diane Marks of Ballongilly Farm in Katherine, where he was guided through the production process, learnt about the industry’s innovative scanner technologies, taste-tested the new ‘Parvin’ variety, and learnt about the ongoing development of the industry. Anthony’s piece – focusing on innovation – is due to be published in the March edition of delicious magazine, which has a circulation of 94,694.

More recently, Nagi Maehashi of top Australian food blog RecipeTin Eats flew up to Groves Grown Tropical Fruit farm in Rockhampton, marking her second year visiting the Groves family. The significance of famils is made clear when watching and reading Nagi’s content, which is full of admiration for the Groves family and the mango industry, indicating a genuine relationship that has seen the development of an authentic public advocate. This year, Nagi published this beautiful blog piece with two videos documenting the harvest process and a recipe for mango daiquiris. The content was accompanied by four social media posts across Facebook and Instagram. Nagi also provided added-value content that was outside scope as a further demonstration of her passion for the industry, with one extra Facebook post, two extra Instagram posts and two YouTube video shares. In total, her social media and blog content has reached a huge 562,114 subscribers across four channels, receiving 5710 engagements (likes, comments, shares).

Influencer kit drops

Aussie Mangoes sends out gifts annually to Australian health and foodie digital influencers in the hope they will demonstrate their passion for mangoes to their followers. This season, gifts were sent out in October, December and January, celebrating the beginning of the mango season and the launch of the mango emoji campaign, the festive season, and Australia Day, respectively. Each kit reminded influencers of the versatility of mangoes and their significance as Australia’s fruit of summer, including everything they would need to create delicious mango salad, grilled mangoes, mango popsicles, baked mango treats, and mango pavlovas.

As a result of sending out 35 kits, there have been 59 Instagram posts, reaching 3,408,000 people, and receiving a huge 88,861 engagements.

Grower profiles

A key focus of Aussie Mangoes public relations activity is grower profiling, with regional media connected with mango growers. In helping to forge these relationships, journalists are helped in sharing news of local mango growers and their harvest activity with regional communities, extending the visibility of Aussie Mangoes above mainstream and social media.

So far this season, nine growers have been connected with regional media publications, resulting in 11 pieces of coverage across online, print and broadcast media, and reaching a combined 8,342,139 people. Growers have appeared in the pages of major titles such as The Katherine Times, ABC Rural, The Bowen Independent, The Cairns Post, The Townsville Bulletin, and The Bundaberg NewsMail. More grower profiles are expected to come.


Aside from Aussie Mangoes’ owned social channels of Facebook and Instagram, the industry extends its outreach to popular YouTube foodies, home cooks and chefs, who have large communities of dedicated subscribers on the online video channel. This season seven YouTube content creators have been engaged, and as a result have posted videos for recipes such as mango muffins, chia pudding, cheesecake tarts, flan, sorbet, salads, popsicles, and ‘nicecream’. These videos have reached a subscriber base of 1,248,732 and received 13,933 engagements. More videos are expected to be published.


The annual Facebook activity has been producing some fantastic results, with total engagements already exceed last year’s overall results, with the 2016/17 season still to wrap up.

Contributing to this success, is the development of major content pillars aimed at educating the community, increasing awareness, generating engagement and driving sales. As harvests begin in each region, Facebook posts have alerted the community to production with ‘harvest tiles’, which have already reached 713,023 and seen 58,755 engagements.

Similarly, regular one-hour Mango Madness promotions through Facebook have drummed up strong engagement during the peak of the season, with five mango competitions reaching 49,291 people and receiving 9,081 engagements – which equates to an average of 9858 reached and 1816 engagements per hour.

Finally, one of the most popular content streams on the Aussie Mangoes Facebook page is the how-to mango recipe videos, featuring some the most popular recipes from the Aussie Mangoes website. So far, six videos have been posted with recipes for mango-filled salads, barbecues and desserts, which have reached 606,263 people, been viewed 205,619 times, and have received 19,728 engagements.

Export-market activity

Asian export promotions

Promotional activities in Asia are underway with campaigns in Wellcome supermarkets in Hong Kong, Costco in Japan, Homeplus in Korea, and NTUC FairPrice, CMM Sheng Siong and Cold Storage supermarkets in Singapore.

Aussie Mangoes has engaged with exporters, importers and retailers to create bespoke campaigns for each market and target customer. Activities include in-store demonstrations, point of sale (POS) material with ‘Go an Aussie mango’ themed posters, wobblers, bunting, store handling and merchandising guides, varietal posters and a sales incentive competition. Exporters are supporting the campaigns by providing mangoes for in-store tastings, and retailers and importers are funding print advertisements and online activity.

To assist retailers with their advertising and social media activities, Australian Mangoes collateral has been provided including the brand style guide and logo; high resolution images of the different varieties; recipes and accompanying high resolution images; lifestyle images; tips and trivia; the #mangoemojiplease image and video; and other online content including short videos for social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Korea Australia Day event

Australian mangoes were a highlight for over 1200 guests who attended the 2017 Australia Day event hosted by the Australian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, on January 12, 2017.

Guests lined up to taste and enjoy Australian mangoes at the ‘Taste Australia’ stand at the event, where there was a display of R2E2 mangoes and the opportunity to sample fresh sliced mangoes and mango sorbet. In addition, mango and coconut muffins and Aussie pavlova with mango and passionfruit were served.


These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Mango Fund