Thursday, March 12, 2009

This One is a Real Cutie

Cuties, a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin, knows that things can go ugly without the right marketing support. That's why when Cuties hit stores in November, it did so with a $7 million integrated marketing plan that included ads, promotions and events that positioned its product as a healthy snack option, especially for children, in a fun, playful way.

Print ads read "Root for the fruit" and show a healthy Cuties mandarin orange chasing away a slice of pizza. T-shirts bearing the ad were also created, as were branded adhesive bandages, custom ice packs that say "Cuties. They're so cool," temporary tattoos and iPod covers that say "Root for the li'l guy."

These items were distributed at American Youth Soccer Organization games, Radio Disney events and other kid-friendly happenings. Members of the press also received these items, as well as Cuties branded lip balm, shoelaces and a USB port shaped like a business card. And, more than 3.5 million first through fifth grade students were exposed to the brand through custom-designed lesson plans, book covers and reward stickers.

As the rollout of the product continues through May (when mandarin orange season ends), other promotions including a Valentine's Day effort will hit markets.

"Cuties are a fast-growing citrus brand," says Dominic Engels, vice president of marketing for Cuties, in a statement. "Increasing our marketing support throughout the season will continue to grow the category, especially in today's market where we know consumers are looking for quality, health benefits and convenience."

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