Kiwifruit brand Zespri is taking its marketing to a new level in Europe this year with a series of immersive, virtual reality films designed to give consumers a first-hand experience of the New Zealand kiwifruit supply chain.
Unveiled earlier this year at Fruit Logistica, the VR movies will be presented first to customers and then to consumers via an app, enabling them to see what it’s like to be in a kiwifruit orchard in the Bay of Plenty at harvest time, on board a ship at the Port of Tauranga as the fruit is loaded for export, or in a supermarket where promotional activities are in full swing.
According to Nele Moorthamers, Zespri’s marketing manager for Europe, the movies can be viewed in two ways: using a dedicated smartphone app and VR viewer; or via the marketer’s various social media channels, where the movies will be displayed as panoramic clips with a viewpoint that can be moved around during playback.
The reason for taking such a bold move into the future of marketing is simple: “We don’t want to just hand out a leaflet,” says Moorthamers. “It’s about giving consumers an experience which is genuine. Consumers always have lots of questions, for example about how kiwifruit is grown; some think it could be more like apples or even strawberries.
"This is a way to show how in fact they are grown on a vine, as well as showing the whole process between there and the point of sale, and how the fruit is treated with care throughout the whole cycle. Part of our brand promise is delivering quality and this is a new way to experience that.”
This year will also see a notable shift in the brand’s marketing strategy in Spain, where a bigger emphasis on consumers’ emotional response will be at the heart of a new campaign.
Using the slogan Querámonos (Let’s Love Each Other), this will focus less on production, says Moorthamers, and more on developing an emotional link between the Zespri brand and consumers.
A new Instagram account in Spain has just been created, adding to others already set up for the UK, France and Germany.
“We’re trying to make it a bit more alive, especially using online media,” Moorthamers adds. “We want to create more engagement for a brand which is already number one in Spain in terms of consumer awareness, and create a really good link with our consumers.”