The ebb and flow of all four seasons, and their impact on apple production in South Tyrol, are at the heart of a new campaign to promote Italian brand Marlene.
Launched this month to coincide with the arrival of new-season fruit in the market, The Four Seasons of Marlene project includes a new television commercial plus a range of other initiatives designed to show how South Tyrol’s unique climate – and in particular its changing seasons – make the so-called Daughters of the Alps truly special.
During a series of visits to orchards last week, journalists were given an opportunity to witness the region’s production firsthand, and to see the effects that the local climate has on its apples.
From warm sunshine in summer that packs the trees full of energy and sets their fruit on a path to ripeness, to the first snap of cold, autumnal air that renders the apples – not to mention the entire landscape – more colourful, each quarter of the calendar has a role to play in Marlene’s quality.
In winter, too, when the orchards are wrapped in snow and the sun is low on the horizon, nature’s hibernation gives the apple trees a much-needed rest. Then spring reawakens the trees and breathes new life into them, causing their fruit-bearing flowers to blossom.
All of those elements will feature in the new advertising campaign, says Walter Pardatscher, CEO of the Vog Consortium, which owns the Marlene trademark.
“We want to use sounds, images, videos and personal accounts to tell the story of what happens in Marlene apple orchards during the transition from one season to the next, of how heat and cold, as well as rest and activity, alternate, making our apples unique,” he explains.
The television advertisement’s première took place on one of the world’s most famous stages, the Venice International Film Festival, which takes place until 11 September.
The innovative new commercial took a whole year to produce and is visually impressive.
Packed with spectacular shots and time-lapse sequences, over the course of 60 seconds it illustrates a seamless transition from one season to the next in the Marlene apple orchards.
It will be broadcast on television and in cinemas over the coming months in Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.
At the same time, adverts will appear in a range of other media – including out of home, local and national magazines, and digital channels – as well as posts and stories on social media accounts, and videos on YouTube.
“The new commercial is a natural follow-up to the Marlene Daughter of the Alps commercial launched in 2017,” says Hannes Tauber, Vog’s marketing manager.
The aim, it seems, is make the uniqueness of the brand’s apples truly tangible for consumers, he adds.
“We will show why our apple orchards have the ideal climatic conditions over the course of 365 days to enhance the taste of all the different varieties of blue sticker apples.”
Various new pieces of content will be developed for Marlene, based on the four seasons concept.
Moreover, apple growers belonging to the consortium will take consumers into the heart of their orchards in each of the four seasons, explaining how the production process works and showing them which environmental changes affect apple ripening.
South Tyrolean champion athlete Dorothea Wierer will also be on hand to demonstrate different outdoor sporting activities that are on offer in South Tyrol during the different seasons.
Art, meanwhile, continues to be an important feature of the Marlene campaign, after last year’s eye-catching competition to mark 25 years of the brand.
This year, some of that competition’s shortlisted entries will be used to adorn apple packs for a three-week period in each season.
Finally, there will also be plenty of in-store activities – including the installation of digital screens to display the new commercial – and the distribution of themed free gifts.
“We are ready for another exciting season,” Tauber concludes. “Telling our consumers about the many details and facets in each season that make our apples so special and distinctive is an exciting challenge.”