`Olive Council Calls 'Add Some Life' Campaign a Success

N. America

Olive Council Calls 'Add Some Life' Campaign a Success

Jul. 12, 2013
By Curtis Cord

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Chef Michael Schwartz and Ryan Good­speed at the launch of the Add Some Life” cam­paign in Sep­tem­ber, 2011.

In its June newslet­ter the Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil (IOC) called its North Amer­i­can cam­paign to pro­mote olives and olive oil a suc­cess judg­ing from the con­stant import growth recorded since its out­set.”

The 18-month, $1.7 mil­lion cam­paign was launched in Sep­tem­ber, 2011 with a cock­tail recep­tion for food blog­gers in the back of New York’s Lin­coln Cen­ter. The Min­neapo­lis pub­lic rela­tions firm hired for the cam­paign, Colle+McEvoy, came up with the slo­gan Add Some Life,” devel­oped an infor­ma­tional web­site and shared tips and recipes through Face­book and Twit­ter.

When IOC Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Jean-Louis Bar­jol announced the cam­paign in July, 2011, he said its impact would depend on the syn­ergy” that would develop if pro­duc­ers lever­aged the cam­paign with their own ini­tia­tives: I am here to tell (pro­duc­ers and mar­keters) of olive oil and table olives hey guys, we are going to launch a cam­paign. It’s up to you to make it more vis­i­ble, up to you to add events with your own money around this event,’ ” he said.

In deem­ing the cam­paign suc­cess­ful, the Olive Coun­cil ref­er­enced U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture fig­ures that show, in the 12-month period end­ing Octo­ber 2012, the United States imported 9 per­cent more than in the same period in 2011. The Olive Coun­cil did not spec­ify how the rel­a­tively small cam­paign might have had such an imme­di­ate impact on the world’s largest mar­ket.

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Accord­ing to its rank­ing by the Inter­net traf­fic met­rics ser­vice, Alexa, which pro­vides a rough mea­sure of a web­site’s pop­u­lar­ity, the campaign’s web­site, addsomelife.org, gets few vis­i­tors, and its mod­est reach on Face­book and Twit­ter make it unclear if the campaign’s strat­egy of reach­ing out to influ­encers” gained much ground in build­ing broad aware­ness of olive oil and its ben­e­fits. The last social media posts were on Decem­ber 21, 2012.

When asked if she con­sid­ered the cam­paign a suc­cess, Ber­nice Neu­mann, who over­saw the project for Colle+McEvoy declined to say, adding that the IOC would be the best judge of that. She also declined to detail the ini­tia­tives the cam­paign under­took over the 18-month period.

The fir­m’s web­site states by reach­ing key influ­encers, the Add Some Life cam­paign helped increase retail sales of olives and bring the house­hold pen­e­tra­tion of olive oil in North Amer­ica to an all-time high of 51 per­cent.” It also claims the cam­paign gar­nered 342 mil­lion impres­sions” over the 18-month period.

The United States is not a mem­ber of the United Nations-sanc­tioned Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil, which is based in Madrid. Mem­ber states pay dues, part of which go toward activ­i­ties to pro­mote olive oil and table olives around the world.

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