Avocados from Mexico fuses branding, performance marketing for Super Bowl return

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Avocados from Mexico (AFM) is rolling out a multichannel campaign in the lead up to its return to the Super Bowl next month that will see avocados placed on the digital shelves of 40 retailers, according to a news release.
  • The fresh produce trade marketer created a virtual “House of Goodness” experience where consumers can tour a home hosted by NFL star Drew Brees. The interactive digs let visitors take a selfie with Brees; view AFM’s big game spot and recipes; enter a sweepstakes for a real smart home makeover valued at $100,000; and purchase avocados directly from multiple touchpoints powered by MikMak technology.
  • A “Store of Goodness” brings the push into the real world, with AFM taking over vintage clothing shop Funny Pretty Nice in New York’s SoHo neighborhood from Feb. 8-13. The space will sell an AFM Avocado Glow apparel collection and encourage visitors to post content using the hashtag #AlwaysGood, a reference to AFM’s brand positioning focused on freshness.

Dive Insight:

AFM sat out the big game last year, breaking a six-year advertising streak that helped hoist its name to household recognition. At the time, executives said the produce marketer, which is a subsidiary of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association trade group, would take the down period to reassess strategy, with plans to return in 2022. The pause also came as the COVID-19 virus raged and before vaccines were widely available.

Now, AFM is coming back to the marquee sporting event with a 30-second in-game ad and complementary multichannel campaign that adopts a more tech-forward approach than in years past. AFM efforts have previously centered on in-store channels like shopper marketing, but “House of Goodness” throws a larger spotlight on e-commerce capabilities that have grown more important to food brands and grocers during the pandemic. The interactive home experience led by Brees features shoppable touchpoints supported by ad-tech partner MikMak, which is, in turn, working with LiveRamp to help AFM acquire and analyze first-party data that will assess its most valuable shoppers.

The refreshed big game strategy follows AFM switching up its marketing leadership last year. In July, it promoted Ivonne Kinser to vice president of marketing and innovation, with full overview of the marketing department, and named Ana Ambrosi as director of corporate communications, crisis and public relations. Kinser has a background in e-commerce and digital marketing.

“We’re headed into this Big Game with a more modern view of marketing that aims to fuse our branding and performance efforts into a novel approach that we have defined as ‘Brandformance’ — taking our innovation to the next level in both territories: branding and marketing-driven sales,” Kinser said in a press statement around the latest campaign.

AFM is also capitalizing on the return of in-person channels to woo fashion-conscious consumers with the “Store of Goodness” pop-up. The apparel collection takes inspiration from the brand’s color scheme, a yellow-green hue meant to evoke the inside of a perfectly ripe avocado.

More food and beverage marketers are investing in virtual spaces to account for consumers that may not be comfortable with large crowds and as the industry at large prepares for the metaverse. General Mills last fall created a “homegate” platform that had college football fans explore a virtual house in a manner akin to AFM’s concept. The online portal carried recipes, videos and gameday quizzes, along with the ability to buy General Mills brands like Totino’s, Old El Paso and Honey Nut Cheerios. It was developed with e-commerce firm Obsess.

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