Banana ads to put skids under unhealthy snacks – The Australian

by Lara Sinclair

THE $720 million Australian banana industry will launch an advertising campaign promoting bananas as the healthy packaged snackfood, taking the anti-obesity fight to confectionery and processed snackfood manufacturers.

A $3m television campaign — the industry’s biggest ever — will be launched next month presenting the banana as “nature’s energy snack”.

The campaign, which aims to build on the long-running “Make those bodies sing” slogan, comes as the snackfood and advertising industries await the outcome of the National Preventative Health Taskforce’s recommendations for addressing obesity and other health issues.

The campaign was developed by David Chenu, a former marketer of red meat at Meat & Livestock Australia and now domestic marketing manager for Horticulture Australia, which manages marketing campaigns for a range of agricultural products. “Our aim is to make Australian bananas the number one snack of choice by 2015,” Mr Chenu said.

He said that in the process, the campaign aimed to increase the retail value of banana sales — the fruit is already Australia’s top-selling — by more than 6 per cent by 2012, which would make it a $760m industry.

The campaign, which also includes internet widgets, outdoor advertising, radio and in-store signage, plays on the fruit’s nickname “na-nas”, and unhealthy snackfood “no-nos”.

Mr Chenu said it was designed to change consumer behaviour by making 18 to 39-year-olds stop and consider a banana instead of reaching for a processed snack.

“To do that, we are going directly after our competitors and poking a bit of fun at them along the way,” he said.

“(Bananas) are one of the biggest-selling items in the supermarket,” Mr Chenu said. “Sometimes they’ll even out-sell a can of Coke.”

The campaign was created by retail agency Eleven Communications. Director of creative strategy Jonathan McCauley said it was designed to leverage public concern over rising obesity levels. “We think with the weight of public opinion we’ve probably earned the right to poke a bit of fun at the big boys,” Mr McCauley said.

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