While major brands like Frito Lay and Taco Bell are sitting out the Super Bowl this year, Avocados from Mexico will return to the big game for the third consecutive year, with an army of 100,000 “brand ambassadors” to augment its 30-second commercial spot during the first break.

With its Super Bowl campaign this year, Avocados from Mexico is looking to target everyone beyond its core consumer groups — 24- to 45-year-old moms and restaurant chains like Chipotle — with a TV commercial created by agency GSD&M and a social campaign #AvoSecrets, designed with agency Richards/Lerma and developed by Wealthy Mind.

The social campaign #AvoSecrets includes a microsite that looks like a mobile phone installed with 16 apps including Avo Recipes, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Clicking on each app directs users to a different experience. If you choose Instagram, for instance, you can add a filter and discover secrets within the selected image. Then you can share the picture on Twitter with the hashtag #AvoSecrets for a chance of winning a trip to Spain or French Polynesia.

The digital hub features 16 different channels.
Avocados from Mexico’s digital hub for Super Bowl features 16 different channels.

“Last year, the storytelling was there. But this year, we wanted to turn storytelling into an interactive experience and bring Avocados from Mexico’s TV commercial to life on one digital platform,” said Aldo Quevedo, principal and creative director for Richards/Lerma.

#AvoSecrets has racked up more than a billion impressions as of  Tuesday, which has already surpassed the 828 million impressions it got for all of last year’s Super Bowl campaign, according to the company. It largely credits the 100,000 “brand ambassadors” who are spreading the word for the brand.

Avocados from Mexico, working with its agency Havas Media, started the ambassadors program with 30,000 people, which it found by targeting certain groups on Facebook and Twitter including moms and health-conscious people. Avocados from Mexico emails its ambassadors to share promoted content for the brand in return for points and the chance to win awards.

The email open rate runs around 15 percent to 20 percent, and about 90 percent of the people who opened the email share branded content from Avocados from Mexico, the company said. Avocados from Mexico spent around $100,000 on paid media last year to recruit its ambassadors for this year’s Super Bowl.

“We constantly engage with them to nurture the relationship so each of their impressions is more efficient than any purchased impressions,” said Ivonne Kinser, director of digital strategy and innovation for Avocados from Mexico. “If we put a price tag on the impressions they brought to us, that would be around $2 million, so it’s pretty cost-efficient.”

Avocados from Mexico is also working with more than 200 bloggers and 25 social media personalities through a partnership with social network Mom It Forward to promote its Super Bowl campaign.

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The hashtag #AvoSecrets has been used more than 108,000 times over the past two weeks, and social sentiment around it is completely positive, according to social analytics firm Brandwatch.

“It’s truly unprecedented,” said Kellan Terry, senior analyst for Brandwatch. “It may be because the hashtag was circulated as a marketing tactic. So fans of Avocados from Mexico may be the only ones using #AvoSecrets, or are certainly more inclined to use it.”

Aside from this ongoing social promotion, Avocados from Mexico also released the teaser for its Super Bowl spot this week. It features actor Jon Lovitz hypnotizing viewers in front of an avocado swirl and chanting “Everyone loves guacamole. Come and get it, hipsters.”

The brand will also test Facebook Live during Super Bowl for the first time this Friday, where social celebrity Tim Tebow will teach people how to make guacamole, followed by another Facebook Live video with actor Jeremy Piven on Saturday.

Avocados from Mexico represents around 80 percent of avocado sales in the U.S. While the goal of this year’s Super Bowl campaign is to grow the brand’s market share, Kinser’s team won’t measure it by direct sales. Instead, they will monitor engagement, brand mentions and impressions that are estimated to reach 1.5 billion after the big game, she said.

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