Get Crackin’

More than just promoting pistachios which are already one of America’s favorite snack, Wonderful Pistachios is promoting the idea that eating pistachios can be fun! The “Get Crackin’!” advertising campaign launched by Wonderful Pistachios in October 2009 has been on for three years now. This campaign is the first one for the pistachios industry and has generated quite a deal of attention, as well as sales.

The growth of sales is remarkable. From September 2010 to October 2011, sales for Wonderful Pistachios rose 134% by volume, according to SymphonyIRI.

The campaign aims at inspiring consumers the various fun ways to crack open a pistachio.  It initially features eight celebrity figures from all different fields to demonstrate how they crack open a pistachio, each in their own unique, light-hearted way.

“We want to remind America, in a light-hearted way, that pistachios are a unique, fun and healthy snack,” said Dominic Engels, vice president of global marketing, Paramount Farms, producer of Wonderful Pistachios. “The experience of cracking open a pistachio is unlike any other and we’re using a humorous, tongue-in-cheek approach, and a wide range of celebrity figures, to remind people of that. We feel confident that our irreverent approach will help break through the marketing clutter and make people feel good about pistachios.”

The featured celebrities included: Olympic swimmer and record-setting medalist Dara Torres; Brady Bunch alum Christopher Knight and America’s Next Top Model wife Adrianne Curry; Jackass prankster Wee-Man; The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore; former Miss South Carolina Teen USA Lauren Caitlin Upton; the Denny quintuplets; father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild, Levi Johnston; and a real-life dominatrix. The company was trying to expand the target market by having celebrities popular in different groups. For instance, Adrianne Curry may be popular among young females and can thereby attract their attention to the product. The commercials were aired on national prime-time programming including Monday Night Football, Saturday Night Live and The Office. 

Besides the featured celebrities, Wonderful Pistachios also used Mr. Bill, Keyboard Cat, Angry Birds and other popular internet characters to make the consumers feel more pleasure-attached. The company wanted to build a close association between the product and the popular things in order to better brand the product. The company is expecting a virus-like spread of these commercials as well as a subsequent sale growth.

The campaign is successful not only because it follows the trends, but also because that there was no commercials of pistachios before. Thus the company has made a solid initiation for pistachios advertising.

Certainly there are critiques about the campaign. Some argues there can’t be found a focus or theme of the commercials because of the broad variety of characters used. There are also voices against the use of negative figures such as the disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

In general, however, the campaign is effective in getting interest and generating sales, ascribed to the company’s successful combination of the trends and social media marketing.

-Audrey Xiong

Check out the commercials:


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