Sumo Citrus: The Enormously Delicious Fruit
For those few that have not heard about Sumo Citrus yet, here is a brief overview of this legendary fruit with the top-knot.
- It has unique attributes that include its ginormous size, a large top knot, unparalleled sweetness, seedless, the peel virtually falls off on its own, and it’s incredibly juicy without being messy.
- It was developed by a farmer in Japan where it is known as a dekopon — a cross between a Kiyomi (a cross between a tangor, satsuma and Trovita orange) and a Ponkan (a mandarin and a pomelo).
- Its short growing season means this is one of the few remaining truly seasonal treats, available only from January through April. It is also one of the most difficult citruses to grow, which means a lot of love is poured into this fruit.
- In 2019, Sumo Citrus became one of the trendiest fruits to eat, especially after social media influencer Eva Chen declared her love for this citrus.
Going into the 2019-2020 season we developed and executed a creative campaign that broadly increased awareness of Sumo Citrus® mandarins and established brand recognition in a category dominated by commodity citrus. We started by separating the campaign into two parts. The first was “Pre-Season”, which ran a month prior to Sumo Citrus being available in stores. The second part was “In-season” which, as its name indicates, ran while the fruit was in-season and available for purchase in stores.
Our goal was to crescendo the arrival Sumo Citrus season by seeding social media with pre-season content to generate awareness/excitement as well as test different messaging, creative, and audience targeting in order to inform the full campaign communication that began in January.
- Flight: November – December
- Platforms: Facebook/Instagram, YouTube, Display, Search
- Paid Media: Utilizing the recent rebranding of Sumo Citrus, we partnered with Superior Branding Company to develop creative and focused on specific messaging and creative pathways. Some of these included: Countdown to Sumo Season, Educational, Benefits, and Lifestyle. During the campaign, we monitored what types of messaging/creative combinations resonated with target audience groups. We also monitored any trends in effectiveness from demographic groups, devices, times of day, etc. in order to determine where we would focus most of the budget during the full campaign run.
- Influencer Relations: We focused on Macro and Micro influencers to produce the most amount of high-quality content within the restraint of available product. These influencers were selected based on either their previous collaboration with Sumo Citrus or their unprompted organic posts that reflect their genuine love of Sumo Citrus.
- Email Marketing: While Sumo Citrus had an existing email subscriber list, it was stagnant and had not been communicated to in over a year. We saw an opportunity to revitalize and grow this dormant asset through delivering a series of Sumo Citrus Season Countdown emails to re-engage and excite.
The in-season campaign focused on brand awareness and the fruit’s unique attributes. We also gave weight to optimize engagement among millennial sharers, website visits to drive higher purchase consideration, and email list growth.
- Flight: January – April
- Platforms: Facebook/Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Teads Native Video, Programmatic Display, Search, Ibotta
- Paid Media: This portion of the initiative focused heavily on awareness but also gave weight to optimize for engagement among millennial sharers, website visits to drive higher purchase consideration, and potentially leads.
- Influencer Relations: This marketing strategy was an integral part of the entire campaign. The bulk of influencers were Micro and Nano sized. The advantage of working with these level of influencers is that they tend to cost less, have higher engagement rates, and generally speaking, people tend to trust this level of influencer most because they have a highly targeted audience that they personally engage with in order to establish a relationship. We then leveraged the content created by the influencers for paid media efforts.
- Email Marketing: We developed a series of automated welcome emails for new subscribers, as well as creating a monthly newsletter template for continued communications.
- Public Relations Custom Mailer Boxes: 100 boxes were mailed to major media outlets and influencers. This resulted in significant organic reach, as the recipients often posted these stunning boxes on their social media accounts.
Ad Impressions: 41 Million
- 23% Higher than Goal
- Year over Year Growth: 304.57%
Video Views: 5 Million
- 170% Higher than Goal
- Growth from Pre-Season: 421.2%
Website Traffic: 58.8% Year over Year Growth
Influencer Impressions: 477.83% Year over Year Growth
Email List Growth: 1,038.97% Year over Year Growth
Press Coverage: 31 Major Outlets cover Sumo Citrus
This interwoven campaign was highly successful and led to measurable increases in brand awareness. Social media was buzzing about this iconic fruit, and driving some of the most creative UGC we’ve ever seen! Even the amazing Jenna Fischer couldn’t help resisting the urge to post about her love for Sumo Citrus!
Check out some of these articles that were written about Sumo Citrus!
Better Homes and Garden
Sumo Citrus Season Is Here and We’re Already Stocking Up
Los Angeles Times
What’s in a Name
The Produce Geek
Sumo Citrus Taste Test
Your Central Valley
A Special Kind of Citrus Available a Limited Time Each Year
The Bennington Banner
Citrus Fruits: A Bright Spot in the Produce Aisle
Some of the Amazing UGC Content and Fan Art!