Diamond Foods Readies New Ads, Declines Super Bowl

Diamond Foods, which enjoyed great success with its "Natural Energy" campaign for its Emerald nuts that featured the actor/singer Robert Goulet, is set to debut the next generation of the effort following the brand ambassador's death on Oct. 30. Also new will be the company's unwillingness to participate in the Super Bowl extravaganza for the first time in three years.

The upcoming campaign continues the promotion of nuts as a healthy source of energy, and features new situations that show "the bad things that happen when people don't eat Emerald nuts in the afternoon." It will debut on ESPN during the Emerald Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Dec. 28.

The integrated campaign will consist of broadcast, Internet and out-of-home components and will maintain Emerald's contemporary sense of humor.

After the Emerald Bowl, Diamond Foods will continue to unfold the effort up to and then beyond Super Bowl XLII, declining to participate in the big event this time around. "There will be extensive media and retail promotions surrounding it, including an in-store partnership with Anheuser-Busch's Bud Bowl that will generate approximately 15,000 off-shelf displays," the company said.



"Given the success of the 'Natural Energy' campaign along with the rising cost of a 30-second ad on the Super Bowl, we made the decision in June not to participate in the telecast," said Andrew Burke, senior vice president/marketing of Diamond Foods.

"Over the past two years we were able to negotiate very favorable rates that were 30-40% below reported averages. Given recent reports of high demand and prices approaching $3 million for a 30-second ad, we made the right decision. We will take those funds and both extend and strengthen our media plan throughout the year--including increased investment in the back half of our fiscal year, when we have a number of new initiatives launching."

The impact of the campaign so far has "enabled us to attract new, younger snackers," said Burke. According to IRI data, the Emerald brand has grown more than 30% in eight out of the last 11 four-week periods since the campaign debuted. Furthermore, a recently conducted Brand Shifting Study conducted by Nielsen determined that 77% of Emerald's sales dollar growth over the past year was incremental to the category.

The Emerald snack line, which has expanded from 14 to 23 products since its national introduction in August 2004, has distribution in approximately 84% of the nation's grocery stores. The brand is quickly gaining additional distribution in drug stores, convenience stores, club stores and mass merchandising outlets.

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