Leading New Zealand apple grower-packer-marketer Mr Apple joined forces with premium Chinese retailer 7-Fresh for a special Mother’s Day promotion.
The in-store activity included a colouring contest for children and apple sampling targeted at mothers.
Premiering at 7-Fresh’s flagship store in Beijing, the activation was supported by demonstrations at selected stores across the country.
Mr Apple has worked closely with 7-Fresh’s parent company, JD.com, in the online space for several years. Mr Apple’s China market manager, Ben McLeod, said Mother’s Day provided the ideal opportunity to move from purely online promotions with JD.com to offline promotions with the company’s offline fresh-food supermarkets as well.
“China is pioneering the O2O (online-to-offline) experience for consumers and given Mr Apple is one of the largest New Zealand apple exporters to China, in-market O2O initiatives are programmes we need to be supporting,” McLeod explained.
The activation not only provided Mr Apple with a platform to generate brand exposure but also unveil its new mascot.
“Our ‘Mr Apple’ mascot has been appearing in our China social media since March, so it was time to take him to the people,” explained Lisa Cork, special projects manager for Mr Apple.
“The Mother’s Day activation was perfect timing as a ‘Mr Apple’ mascot colouring contest and appearances with Mr Apple kept the kids busy while mom tasted the delicious New Zealand apples we had on offer.”
Cork said the mascot will feature in POS materials, online sales pages and packaging as the character gets rolled out across more touchpoints.
“Not only is Mr Apple a brand, but the brand name Mr Apple is a persona too,” Cork explained. "From a marketing perspective, it is part of our unique selling proposition and China is the ideal place to launch initiatives like this since so many leading brands have a hero mascot.”
Given the rapid evolution of the Chinese market, McLeod said Mr Apple was constantly searching for innovative approaches that allow it to carve out a niche for its brand.
“While our sheer size and quality open doors for our retail direct business focus, it is innovative marketing and customer support that keeps our customers coming back for more,” he said.