Taking a page from the Wonderful Pistachios and Dannon yogurt playbook, the association representing football-shaped Mexican-grown avocados in the US has bought commercial time to run a 30-second spot in the Big Game on February 1, making it the first fresh-produce brand to advertise during the game—and certainly one of the healthiest foods ever to take the Super Bowl stage.
“It’s a natural fit for us because the No. 1 usage of avocados is guacamole, and the peak of guacamole consumption each year is the Super Bowl,” said Alvaro Luque, CEO of Irving, Texas-based Avocados From Mexico.
The following interview with Alvaro Luque was published on the brandchannel.com website on January 2nd:
It’s a major commitment for any brand to pony up $4 million or so to advertise in the Super Bowl, and most of them don’t do it. So why are you suiting up for Game Day?
Guacamole is becoming stronger and stronger as the natural snack of the US football season. It’s the biggest produce snack consumed during the game. Every time we go into the season, sales of avocados grow like crazy, and the highest peak comes around the Super Bowl. It’s the time of greatest momentum for us to create brand awareness, and we are the No. 1 brand of avocado in the US. It’ll reinforce the whole campaign that we started in October and will continue through May.
Plus we are taking advantage of the fact that we’re basically the only ones still out there with avocados by the time the Super Bowl comes around. It was God’s decision to make our state of Michoachan the only place on earth with four consistent blooms of avocados each year; in California, for example, you only find one bloom and [avocados are] around for four to five months only. Our highest season is the winter time. Almost all of the Super Bowl [guacamole] eating will be avocados from Mexico.
Guacamole consumption in the US is booming. What is the overall growth picture?
Alvaro Luque: Guacamole accounts for the No. 1 usage of avocados by nearly half of the (US) respondents we surveyed. Overall, avocado consumption in the US was about 1.7 billion pounds in the last fiscal year, and Avocados From Mexico accounted for about 1.1 billion pounds of that. This fiscal year Avocados From Mexico are growing by 47 percent, and avocado sales overall have been growing by 13 percent. At roughly $1 a pound, that makes avocados more than a $2 billion industry in the US.
Does guacamole pretty much account for all of the growth in the avocado business in the US?
Alvaro Luque: No, far from it. America is in love with avocados right now, and there also are other big usages in sandwiches and salads. That’s why, immediately after the Super Bowl, we are launching a sandwich promotion called Fanwich featuring Jeff Mauro, the Sandwich King on Food Network.
Are you also, like other Super Bowl brands, going to be ramping up with social media and other digital promotions before and after the game?
Alvaro Luque: Yes. In addition to the sandwich advertising campaign afterward, right before the Super Bowl we’re going to launch a consumer PR program called “No Guac, No Game,” featuring Mario Lopez and his wife, Courtney. That will add to the four TV ads we have running on network and cable TV in the US.
And during the game we’ll have a war room operating in Dallas, where we’re going to concentrate on trying to dominate social media and digital platforms for this promotion. Immediately after we launch our TV ad at the end of the first quarter, we’ll launch a digital campaign featuring seven videos around a big consumer promotion that will roll through the rest of the day and lead into the following day.
So can you tell us anything about your Super Bowl creative?
Alvaro Luque: No way!
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