Starship was asked to help grow sales of New Zealand Avocados’ product in Australia over summer months when they were in season, and the Australian grown varieties were not yet available. Avocados from Australia or New Zealand are virtually identical. To claim one thing or another from a product’s source point of view is usually not credible (yes, wine is a notable exception, but location does affect terroir - see our case studies on wines please).
Avocadoes had been promoted by Avocado Australia under a ‘versatility' story for many years, spending some $1.5 million per annum, but this story - of using Avocadoes with Fish, or Chicken or in a Salad, had not moved the sales/price dial one tad for more than a decade.
Proving that lack of impact - an observation at the time was that avocados were not used much – 70% of Australians were not confident cooks – most used them only once in a while and had little idea of what to do with avocadoes past prawn cocktails and slices in salads.
There was also a pending 'glut' problem - many farmers had planted Avocado trees so there was an increasing over-supply mountain looming, literally 3-5 times the then volume coming on-stream, with not enough demand to sustain prices at a profitable level, so established Avocado farmers were expecting a financial disaster. The issues were: How do we get Australians to use avocadoes more regularly, so overall demand goes up significantly? And how do we pump the demand in a timely fashion that helps New Zealand’s sales?
During our standard research process, we did find one particularly useful fact: that people who eat lots more avocadoes (the avocado loyalists) used them mostly on toast or in sandwiches. With this knowledge, Starship came up with a strategy to promote New Zealand Avocados AS A SPREAD via an integrated campaign. Our ‘Avospreadinstead’ TVC campaign (with only a $500 k TV media budget) showed how to use avocadoes as a healthy alternative as a spread on toast, using a catchy ‘retro’ fun jingle that appealed to adults and kids alike.
In the first season our campaign spread the benefits of New Zealand Avocados to a whole new world of consumers, broke the category’s style for advertising, and lifted sales by a strong >24%+ that year. In the longer term, we changed how avocados were consumed - 'smashed avo' as it has become known, is now a must-have on cafe and hotel menus and has become a national household obsession. People make jokes about why Australian Millennials can’t afford a house - because they spend all their money on smashed avocados.
Great marketing is always about strategy, isn't it?