In June of this year Ask Jeeves (ask.com) plastered 100 million stickers on bananas to replace the usual Dole labels. The stickers asked questions such as "How do I make banana cream pie?" or "When is a banana ripe?"
The California-based Fruit Label Co. sold the space to Ask.com, as well as 15 million stickers on apples and 60 million on oranges to other advertisers. In November of 1999, Jeeves had stuck 15 million stickers on apples, asking questions such as "How do I make California Wrapples?"
This fall the Fox Family Channel will follow in these footsteps and advertise their spine-tingling event, "13 Days of Halloween," featuring over 100 hours of frightening and fearsome Halloween-themed programming from October 19-31, on 25 million apples to be labeled and shipped to stores across the U.S. from October 1-31 with the aid of the Fruit Label Co.
The fruit label craze was started by Kirshenbaum Bond and Partners for Snapple in 1993. KB&P was assigned to launch a new flavor but with a limited media budget. The Media department negotiated with fruit wholesalers to advertise Snapple Mango Madness by placing a sticker that stated "Now available in Snapple Mango Madness" on 30 million mangoes nationwide.
After that the Fruit Label Co. took over and brought to life, among others, a campaign for Jim Carrey's film "Liar Liar" with the actor's face plastered on some 12 million California apples. Back then, The Wall Street Journal filed the whole concept under "humor," but the idea caught on. And why not - the labels cost only about $6.50 per 1,000 apples.
Since then, bananas have featured ABC's "Another fine use of yellow" and "TV. Zero Calories" stickers, the "Lost World" was found on some apples, and CBS welcomed shoppers home.
How long before someone thinks of Halloween pumpkin stickers?
- MediaPost staff writer Anya Khait may be reached at email@example.com