Strategic Flight Plan
The California Avocado Commission’s hold on the burgeoning American avocado business was being threatened by relaxed North American trade policies leading to the arrival of Mexican and South American avocados. Motivated by research showing that consumers would pay more for a perceived premium, domestically grown product, the Commission needed a way to elevate the California avocado brand above existing and future imports to maintain its market dominance.
A Rocketeer-led team responded by focusing on the most interesting and differentiated element in the five-year avocado-growing process: the grower. Starting with a series of grower focus groups, the team developed a long-term plan to spotlight these 3,000 small-farm artisans as the “new” face of California avocados using paid, earned and owned media.
To provide a national media focus and remind consumers to stock up on the fruit for Super Bowl, the second-biggest avocado-consumption day of the year after Cinco de Mayo, the PR team launched the California Avocado Bowl. Growers were recruited to taste-test the “official” guacamole recipes of the two teams participating in the big game, with the favorite dip being positioned as the growers’ pick to win that year’s Lombardi Trophy. The inaugural Avocado Bowl was so successful from a media coverage perspective that growers have made it an annual tradition – along with continued price, awareness and market share leadership.
- More than 750K online, TV, radio and streaming media impressions for the inaugural California Avocado Bowl highlighted by an AP story and live, in-studio guacamole-tasting segment on CBS “The Early Show” on the Friday before the Super Bowl.
- Dedicated TV segment in 40 U.S. markets including expanded coverage in the NFC and AFC champion team cities.
- Extensive consumer, produce and retailer trade coverage of the Avocado Bowl as the public debut of the Commission’s new grower focus.
- Creation of a dedicated California avocado food, family and sports blogger and influencer ambassador program.
- The foundation for a long-term California avocado grower campaign and annual California Avocado Bowls which continue today.
- Long-term stability in (premium) California avocado prices, market share, brand awareness and consumer preference despite uncontrollable crop sizes and market forces.
- Public Relations
- Social Media