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    PMA Takes Lead Role in New Produce Branding Campaign

    'Days of hum-drum messages are over'

    The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) is among the key collaborators of companies, celebrities, athletes and foundations teaming up for the launch of a new brand for fruits and vegetables – FNV – that's poised to change the way the U.S. public interacts with produce.

    Launched with an impactful teaser video at this week's Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit, the clip features a glimpse of the campaign’s anticipated creative, and its celebrity and athlete FNV backers, including actors Kristen Bell and Jessica Alba, WWE Superstar John Cena, musician Nick Jonas, New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz, Golden State Warriors Point Guard Stephen Curry, Memphis Grizzlies Forward Jeff Green, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton.

    The collaboration, which aims to market fruits and vegetables as “one big iconic brand” on behalf of PHA, includes a host of ideas that haven’t been regularly used by the fresh produce industry – including visuals, a self-aware tone, compelling spokespersons and savvy activations to market fruits and veggies in an innovative way. Created by ad agency Victors & Spoils, Andy Nathan, CMO, said the idea behind the effort stemmed from a desire to “… create a cultural movement behind fruits and vegetables – one that parents will want to support, celebrities will seek to endorse and kids will find intriguing enough to get behind.” The campaign will employ “in-your-face marketing tactics that go toe-to-toe with other big iconic brands," continued Nathan, adding: "The days of hum-drum health messages and finger-wagging PSAs are over.”

    The campaign’s first year will launch nationally and in two lead markets later this spring – Fresno, Calif., and Hampton Roads, Va. In-market activations will include digital, print and out-of-home advertising; sponsorships of youth sports leagues and teams; local business and retail activations; and activations at local events. Additionally, a robust research plan will accompany FNV, measuring sales of fresh, frozen, canned and dried in the lead markets, consumption in both markets as well as nationally, and awareness, recall and resonance testing.

    “FNV was inspired by big consumer brands, whose tactics are compelling, catchy and drive an emotional connection with their products,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. “We want to do the same thing for fruits and veggies, which haven’t had an opportunity to act like a big brand. Until now.”

    “Initiatives like FNV and eat brighter! signal a turning point for our industry,” says Kevin Fiori, VP of marketing for Sunkist Growers and PMA board chairman. “The message of health just isn’t cutting it with families. They know fresh produce is healthy – they need a reason to listen and care. This kind of marketing effort is something that the PMA board of directors believes will resonate on a more radical level and ultimately make fresh produce more attractive. We’re excited to see it expressed in the pilot markets and the associated results.”

    The PMA board approved a $1 million investment and the appointment of a marketing task force, comprised of produce industry executives, to support FNV on behalf of the fresh produce industry. Fiori said, “This is a natural fit for PMA. The association is strategically committed to providing members with marketing opportunities and resources to help grow produce businesses. We’ve witnessed that through eat brighter! and now FNV expands that opportunity once again.”

    Founding supporters of FNV include:

    • Avocados From Mexico
    • Bolthouse Farms, a division of the Campbell Soup Co.
    • The Honest Co.
    • Produce for Better Health
    • Produce Marketing Association
    • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • Sweetgreen
    • Victors & Spoils
    • WWE

    For more information, visit www.teamFNV.com or via social channels @teamFNV.

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