Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the mushroom marketing levy into a range of activities to drive frequency of purchase and consumption, under the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund. Read on for a snapshot of activities and results from 2020/21.
It was a big year for the mushroom marketing program in 2020/21 with the launch of a new creative campaign ‘Add the Mighty Mushie’. The new campaign positioned mushrooms as a unique superfood that provided a wealth of specific health benefits and a rich umami flavour – giving clear reasons to consume more mushrooms, more often. Mushroom key messages were communicated through an integrated campaign using media, public relations, social media and retailer initiatives.
The media campaign overall reached 96 per cent of Australian grocery buyers aged 25-54, exceeding the KPI set by 14 per cent. The media channels through which this was achieved include television, YouTube, out of home advertising and a content partnership with major publisher NewsCorp.
To drive mass awareness for the new mushrooms campaign, TV commercials on free-to-air TV, as well as catch-up TV platforms, were included as part of the broader media campaign.
The TV advertisement was aired during popular programs across Channel 7 and 10 such as The Project, MasterChef, 7 News, 10 News and The Amazing Race. The campaign reached 2.2 million grocery buyers between the ages of 25 and 54 years of age, with viewers seeing the advertisement an average of 9 times. Based on the latest brand and campaign research, free-to-air television was the number one driver of campaign recall among consumers.
Catch-up TV enabled Australian Mushrooms to reach 2.4 million people at an average frequency of 1.6 times. Completion rate of viewing the TV commercial was at 98 per cent, three per cent higher than the benchmark of 95 per cent.
Another major component of video advertising to drive awareness was via video-sharing/viewing website YouTube. The strategy involved targeting consumers through several themes including fitness, foodies, mushrooms, health and cooking. YouTube delivered 1.8 million completed views, hitting 155 per cent of the forecasted completed views.
Out of home advertising
Large format billboards were used to create an impactful announcement and drive awareness of the new mushrooms campaign, delivering 1.3 million in reach which is 37 per cent of main grocery buyers.
In addition to this, retail out of home advertising was leveraged to target consumers on the path to purchase – so that as consumers travelled to the supermarkets, they could be exposed to Australian Mushrooms advertising. Australian Mushrooms were present in 4,500 retail panels across the country, delivering up to 50 per cent reach. Retail media panels play a strong role in point of sale, with research suggesting 28 per cent of people are more likely to make a purchase after viewing a retail panel.
Australian Mushrooms’ partnership with NewsCorp enabled the creation and dissemination of mushroom content, including recipe videos, online articles, social media posting, e-newsletter features and digital banner advertising. The consumer response to the digital activity via the NewsCorp platform demonstrated the strong interest in the Australian Mushrooms content:
- The NewsCorp digital activity delivered a click through rate 250 per cent higher than the industry benchmark indicating that engagement in the Australian Mushrooms message was 250 per cent higher than standard.
- The vegetarian recipe collection sponsorship performed the strongest in terms of page views and dwell time indicating strong interest and engagement in the vegetarian category.
- The activity in the health and wellbeing media brand, body+soul, allowed the campaign to tap into their 620,000 readers each week with bonus native articles highlighting mushrooms as a super food, featuring alongside the brand advertisement.
- Digital drove strong recall in the mid campaign research dip, resulting in it being the fourth highest driver of recall.
Social media activity occurred throughout 2020/21 aiming to remind and inspire Australians to cook with mushrooms through engaging year-round content under the content pillars of ‘Mighty Flavoursome’, ‘Mighty Healthy’ and ‘Mighty Helpful’. To boost awareness and consideration, the program included consistent posting of mushroom recipes, preparation tips and tricks, and health benefits via the Australian Mushrooms Facebook (www.facebook.com/AustralianMushrooms) and Instagram (@australianmushrooms) pages.
In addition to this, top Australian Chefs such as Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks and Rocker) and Reynold Poernomo (MasterChef, KOI Dessert Bar) were featured in the Australian Mushrooms social pages showcasing their bold take on mushroom dishes to drive interest and relevance throughout the year.
Social media delivered 147 per cent of forecast impressions (opportunities to see the content), reaching a total of 4.2 million users.
As part of the new campaign launch Australian Mushrooms partnered with disruptive Australian chefs to create bold and original dishes using the mighty mushroom to drive relevance, particularly as the country eased from lockdown. The chefs included:
- Darren Robertson (Three Blue Ducks and Rocker)
- Julian Cincotta (Butter)
- Reynold Poernomo (MasterChef, KOI Dessert Bar)
- Shannon Martinez (Smith & Daughters, Smith & Deli)
- Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (Mary’s Group).
This activity created strong media coverage via 40 news articles nationally (including from News.com.au, Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph) and over 104.6 million impressions.
In the second half of the year, the collaboration with MasterChef Reynold Poernomo continued through the development of his Autumn mushroom menu, as well as other seasonal mushroom recipes to maintain coverage momentum among media outlets. This public relations burst delivered more than 28.7 million impressions, with mushroom articles and recipes appearing in publications such as body+soul, Women’s Health, 9Honey and Woman’s Day.
Over the course of the year, Australian Mushrooms collaborated with major retailers to disrupt and inspire shoppers and promote conversion. This included the following activities:
- Australian Mushrooms took part in Mushroom Month in Woolworths during November 2020. Aisle fins with recipe takeaways were rolled out across all Woolworths’ stores to disrupt shoppers and provide a call to action to use mushrooms as we approached the warmer season.
- Across Aldi stores, on-pack stickers with a summer-inspired recipe and a call to action to the Australian Mushrooms website were rolled out to support the lead up to Australia Day 2021 and the remainder of the summer season.
- With online shopping gaining traction, Australian mushrooms featured on Coles Online with a dedicated Australian Mushrooms Shop page, included an Australian Mushrooms digital banner in the Coles FlyBuys consumer email (eDM) and included a full-page advertisement in the printed and digital Coles Magazine to provide recipe usage inspiration.
Brand and campaign tracking
A brand and campaign tracking research study was conducted at the end of each campaign burst of the new ‘Add the Mighty Mushie’ creative. The latest report (July 2021) had the following results:
- The research showed campaign recall (prompted) is 32 per cent, which is higher than previous mushroom campaigns to date. TV was the most prevalent source of awareness. This was followed by digital channels, particularly for younger audiences, as it can enable greater engagement.
- The key campaign messages were easily understood with 8 out of 10 respondents agreeing to this statement. The two biggest take aways from the campaign – whether unprompted or prompted – were that mushrooms are tasty and healthy.
- The campaign is positively resonating. The creative did extremely well for enjoyment, relevance, and positive sentiment. The campaign was seen as ‘interesting’, ‘distinctive’ and ‘involving’ - leaving viewers with a positive feeling after watching.
- There have been positive changes in perceptions, specifically within the realms of mushrooms being tasty and nutritious. The campaign has also helped reduce some key purchase barriers around cooking occasions, saliency (being top of mind) and knowing how to use Australian mushrooms in cooking.
- There is strong purchase intent. 7 out of 10 respondents said they would be more likely to purchase or use Australian mushrooms, and many would seek out more recipes after being inspired by the campaign.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Mushroom Fund