NEW YORK -- After an advertising blitz in two markets, Pacific Fruit found 10% of consumers are more likely to buy their Bonita brand bananas.
The campaign was so successful that Pacific Fruit launched a similar campaign in two additional markets last month, according to Howard Nager, marketing director.
The ad campaign, which began last August in Phoenix and Portland, Ore., included 1,000 television commercials and 300 billboards, which featured singing monkeys.
To gauge the effectiveness of the campaign, Pacific Fruit conducted consumer research before the campaign began and again in March. Nager said the research also found that brand awareness jumped 22% between August and March. Retail sales also increased, although he declined to offer specifics.
"We are extremely pleased with the results to date," he said. Pacific Fruit launched a similar ad campaign in Springfield, Mass., and Hartford, Conn., in April, Nager said. "We wanted to see if we could replicate those results on the East Coast," he said. "We are very optimistic."
Pacific Fruit is partnering with Edwards Super Food Stores in Windsor Locks, Conn., and the New England group of A&P in Springfield, Mass., for the ad campaign.
The campaign has three main purposes, he said. The first is to promote the company's brand name. "We felt we had the infrastructure, the organization and the quality to support a brand campaign," Nager said.
The second purpose is to show the retail trade that Pacific Fruit is a player in the banana arena, which includes some of the produce industry's strongest brands. The third is to increase the sales and profitability of retail customers, he said.
Pacific Fruit chose Springfield and Hartford because media costs there are cheaper than larger markets like Boston and New York. Pacific Fruit also has a history there, having supplied those markets for 35 years, Nager said. In comparison, Pacific Fruit has only supplied Phoenix and Portland for about 10 years.
The company plans to conduct more consumer research in Springfield and Hartford in late June to see how results compare to the earlier marketing campaign, Nager said.
Advertising in all four markets will continue through 1996, he said. Nager declined to say what Pacific Fruit's ad budget is. The company will decide later this year into what other markets, if any, it will expand the ad campaign.