Aww Bananas!!

What could be thought of as Food Network’s response to Cinemax’s late night programming, Bananas After Dark delivers in many ways – but not the way you’re thinking with your mind in the gutter! Sheesh!

In reality, Food Network has nothing to do with it. Dole is in the midst of a very smart campaign to boost the consumption of bananas at a time when other fruits, like watermelons, are in season and in people’s summer celebrations.  They are doing it with a far-reaching integrated campaign around the simple conceit to “Go Bananas After Dark.”  With social media outreach, PR, traditional media and advertising, they are hitting on all cylinders.  But, the most impressive part is that they went after the campaign from a local perspective. 

The company, based just outside of Los Angeles, pinpointed a number of cities where sales are strong and then set out to introduce how bananas are not just for breakfast or lunch – all in the interest of building the business even further.  They are communicating ways to prepare them that might seem counterintuitive.  The preparation that piqued my interest was just throwing them on the grill.  It’s so simple and it actually carmelizes – who knew?  I know that I never thought about it, but (relatively) anything carmelized is a win-win for me.

Dole is also using the opportunity during the media onslaught to convey the nutritional values and other elements that make their banana products so strong.  Because of the local angle they have taken, it allows them to get their message across in local morning shows, community events and the like – which may not have been feasible if done as a purely national campaign.

The core of the campaign’s success is the way in which they enveloped the entire campaign with a clear, fun and enticing storyline and picked the perfect ways to communicate it.  The campaign has taken on a spirit of the summer and connects with the target audience.  Dole was not just resting on its laurels and waiting for the “competitive” fruit landscape to fall out of season.  They looked at an opportunity to grow the market in ways the consumers might not have otherwise thought of . And, they didn’t have to expose any flesh to do it!

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