With its sixth consecutive Super Bowl appearance, Avocados From Mexico is not straying far from creative themes it's previously deployed — themes that have helped net the brand a collective 27 billion media impressions across Super Bowls past. However, the marketer doesn't feel comfortable with the tag of becoming a big game "regular" with a go-to playbook, Kevin Hamilton, head of brand marketing, PR and strategy, told Marketing Dive.
Avocados From Mexico will air a 30-second ad starring actress and '80s icon Molly Ringwald during the game's second quarter. The campaign, developed with creative agency Energy BBDO, aligns with prior efforts from the brand in focusing on offbeat humor and celebrity cameos, including last year's dog show-themed ad starring Kristin Chenoweth. Two teaser videos, "Neck Pillow" and "Tiara," reveal Ringwald treating an avocado like an old friend, with the two getting ready in a dressing room and having a one-way conversation during a road trip.
Hamilton said Avocados From Mexico always analyzes the value proposition behind producing a Super Bowl spot, factoring in changing brand goals and whether the event is the right stage for achieving them.
"The answer to that has evolved from the first year," Hamilton said. "It's interesting at this stage to hear that phrase, 'the regulars,' applied to us. Rest assured that it is a yearly, annual decision — it is not plug-and-play like some of the other brands that have been in this thing year after year."
Proving returns on a Super Bowl campaign is always pivotal, and Fox, which is broadcasting the game this year, is reportedly charging up to $5.6 million per 30-second spot. Even as expectations are rising, particularly for a brand trying to keep things fresh several years in, standing out can be harder in an environment with a growing number of distractions and where competitors bring their A-game.
"From a creative standpoint, it's always a challenge knowing that everyone around you is going to be stepping up," Hamilton said. "We're in the attention game, and at any given point, attention is a finite resource."
Betting on blockchain
To add a disruptive edge and stand out this year, Avocados From Mexico is the first fresh produce brand to use blockchain technology in a Super Bowl campaign.
For the effort, the company teamed up with Vatom Labs to create a gamified experience where users can create a digital wallet, score digital tokens by completing certain actions related to the brand — like sharing news or following its social media accounts — and redeem them for cash rewards.
"We're in the attention game, and at any given point, attention is a finite resource."
Avocados From Mexico, head of brand marketing, PR and strategy
"These objects are like traditional objects — finite ... collectible, and can have a specific value assigned to them," Ivonne Kinser, head of digital marketing at Avocados From Mexico, said in emailed comments explaining the activation.
"The difference is that they live in the digital world and are programmable to create whatever experience we can envision," she added. "They take some of the best features of both proprietary websites and mobile apps, such as gamification, and combine those benefits in an accessible way, without the need to download a new app."
Avocados From Mexico will also run a social media contest awarding users who retweet Super Bowl campaign messages with the #AvoNetwork hashtag. Winnings include a designer tiara tied to the one that makes an appearance in the Ringwald ad.
A 360-degree view
Avocados From Mexico is extending its thinking beyond the traditional "bright, shiny object" of the in-game ad in other ways, according to Hamilton. Over the years, the brand has adopted a more multichannel approach that layers in aspects of PR, digital marketing and occasionally experiential marketing.
"These things allow us to get in front of the consumer in a more relevant, holistic way than we might be able to throughout the balance of the year," Hamilton said.
"When we're working with our partners, we're always pretty conscious of the fact that today is a 360-degree world," he added. "It's not what it used to be in which you kind of sign them up for the ad and call it a day."
The same line holds true for something like the blockchain integration with Vatom Labs. The Super Bowl presents a large stage for Avocados From Mexico to get its "feet wet" with the ledger-based technology, per Kinser, and test what works for the brand over the longer term.
"That has been our recipe for success in the digital space since we founded AFM," Kinser said of blockchain. "After this first activation, you will see more integration of it in our marketing programs next year."