- Avocados From Mexico (AFM) is partnering with tortilla maker Mission Foods for the second straight year of their "Taco Tip Off" promotion that coincides with March Madness, per an announcement. The brands are pooling their resources to offer in-store savings through April 5, when the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament concludes with the championship game.
- Mission Foods will distribute 1 million packs of tortillas with an immediately redeemable coupon that offers $1.50 in savings when shoppers also buy two AFM avocados. The brands will promote the offer via paid social ads on Instagram and Facebook, and dedicated web page with recipe ideas.
- The campaign marks AFM's return to sports-themed marketing after it was one of the first advertisers to announce it would skip this year's Super Bowl. The return of March Madness is one of the first signs that the 2021 sports calendar is somewhat returning to normal after the pandemic let to the cancellation of the tournament last year.
Avocados From Mexico and Mission Brands aim recapture the excitement that comes with March Madness, whose games averaged about 10.9 million viewers in 2019, the last time the men's college basketball tournament occurred. While sports viewership overall declined last year amid pandemic disruptions, the return of March Madness will provide one of the earliest indications of whether the audience for live sports will recover. AFM and Mission Brands seek to drive in-store sales as consumers continue to prepare more meals at home and spend time watching television, even as sports viewership has dipped.
AFM has been an active in sports-related promotions over the past several years, making its cancellation of a Super Bowl ad more surprising after a six-year run. During the regular NFL season, AFM ran its first celebrity-led shopper marketing program to engage consumers in stores. The food marketer created in-store displays featuring sportscasters Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews that showed QR codes that activated a Virtual Guac Bowl Stadium on smartphones. Shoppers were given a chance to win autographed digital photos and personalized messages from Aikman and Andrews, along with $1 million in cash prizes.
The produce brand also has partnered with other food companies in past campaigns to broaden the scale and impact of promotional efforts. AFM worked with Old El Paso on blogger programs to offer avocado-based recipes and developed dynamic in-store displays, coupons and social media content with the General Mills label. In 2019, AFM was the first fresh produce marketer to leverage blockchain as an asset in a Super Bowl campaign, letting fans create a custom digital wallet they could fill with tokens by completing certain actions, such as sharing a piece of news about the company.