Watermelon board capitalizes on digital tactics
This summer, National Watermelon Promotion Board infused fresh online marketing trends into the Consumer Communications program to not only remain relevant but also thrive in today’s digital landscape. Recognizing that not all consumers need their content delivered in the same way, NWPB leveraged new and existing assets and educational resources by diversifying platforms and implementing emerging marketing trends with dynamic digital approaches.
“The Watermelon Board has been able to be incredibly dynamic and responsive when it comes to navigating trends, capitalizing on our fun fruit personality that is flexible to react in many spaces,” said Stephanie Barlow, senior director of communications at NWPB. “We prioritize a playful image that keeps our pages vital and vibrant while growing in engagements year over year.”
Several new tactics were initiated to support this year’s Use the Whole Watermelon campaign — the largest consumer campaign of the year — including Google Web Stories, prioritizing vertical video, incorporation of current digital trends and a beta online scavenger hunt — and have seen successful engagements.
Google Web Stories uses a popular tappable story format and are housed on Watermelon.org. The four stories covered how to use the whole watermelon, using flesh, juice and rind, and all point to Use the Whole Watermelon landing page.
- Prioritizing vertical video has been an important adjustment for several reasons:
- It is better for mobile – which specifically reached 225,055 Wateremelon.org web viewers on mobile May through August
- Social platforms’ algorithms are prioritizing video in feeds so vertical videos get more engagements in views, likes and comments
- Large brands are embracing vertical, so it equalizes the playing field for consumer attention
- It’s natural for consumers – it’s how we hold our phones
- Reels series using short form minimally produced videos have seen more than 280,000 views across social platforms including TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest
- Natural kitchen setting with interns instead of recipe inspiration videos created relatable content that resonated with viewers
- Incorporation of current trends such as the addition of ASMR into owned and shared videos, leveraging the “Little Miss” meme, and creation of its own Use the Whole Watermelon Giphy stickers — which have more than 600,000 views and are usable through Stories posts on social
“It is imperative that we continue to not only recognize and monitor new and upcoming digital trends, but are also nimble enough to reassess our initial plan and act,” said Barlow. “In some cases, that means acting fast. We will try a new digital tactic for a short period of time in order to test the audience’s reaction for a larger potential activation in the future. For NWPB, the tactic’s success is largely determined by audience engagement.”
This year, on Aug. 3 for National Watermelon Day, NWPB activated its first-ever online Scavenger Hunt. The 24-hour campaign asked watermelon trivia questions via IG stories and encouraged followers to visit Watermelon.org to assist with correct answers. The incentivized campaign, though short in duration, gave a snapshot about how the NWPB community chooses to engage/participate — and helped to establish the likelihood for similar campaigns in future.