Amid all the flashy commercials for beer, burgers, lingerie, and cars, mostly from deep-pocketed corporations who can shell out millions for precious airtime during the Super Bowl on Sunday, there will be one 60-second spot for a humble fruit.
Avocados From Mexico, a trade group interested in promoting the green grocery item in the US, paid roughly $4 million for its ad during the climax of the American football season—which, with more than 100 million US viewers, also features the most highly anticipated TV commercials of the year.
Alvaro Luque, president of Avocados From Mexico, told Forbes that his group is the first produce brand to advertise during the Super Bowl, and said that the ad is a departure from traditional produce advertising, which tends to focus on nature, freshness, and geography: “We’re trying to change that dynamic and to talk to a consumer as CPGs [consumer packaged goods] talk—trying to create more emotions around our brand and our product than just talking about the benefits of a food,” Luque told Forbes. “So instead of just looking at what produce companies are doing, we want to see what Kraft is doing, what Coca-Cola is doing, what Pepsi is doing, in things like digital, for example.” (Luque did not respond to Quartz’s request for an interview.)
Not that many viewers will need to be reminded of the avocado’s excellence—they’ll likely be scooping up its creamy green flesh, pounded into a guacamole, IRL. Alongside chicken wings, pizza, and nachos, the savory, lime-flavored dip (which dates back to the Aztecs in Mexico) will be served alongside tortilla chips at Super Bowl parties around the US.
More avocados are shipped and consumed in the US this week than at any other time of the year, according to another organization dedicated to promoting Americans’ collective avocado addiction, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB).
No Super Bowl party is complete without guacamole, HAB reminds the public each year, and Americans seem to agree: The 120 million pounds of avocados that Americans will nosh on while watching the 2015 Super Bowl, according to HAB’s estimation, is “enough to fill a football field from end zone to end zone and 46 feet deep.”
These claims may well be exaggerated (and pizza and chicken wings see bigger spikes on Super Bowl Sunday than nachos or guacamole do, according to recent data that GrubHub shared with Quartz), but Americans’ growing love affair with the fatty fruit is real: The USDA reports that per capita consumption of avocados has more than tripled since the 1990s (PDF, p. 1).
That’s partly attributable to heavy public relations work by HAB—since 2010, the organization has been sponsoring clinical research studies touting the food’s health benefits (pdf). Mexican suppliers have undoubtedly benefited from this effort, and Avocados from Mexico is augmenting it with a high-tech approach: Luque told Forbes that his group is also experimenting with iBeacon technology, which is generally used to directly target supermarket shoppers via their smartphones.
HAB is based in California, which also grows avocados in the spring and summer, but nearly all the avocados Americans eat in January and February come from Mexico—the state of Michoacan, which lies more than halfway down the country’s west coast.
As Luque told Forbes, “Super Bowl week is the Number 1 week of sales of avocados in the U.S. and it’s basically mine.”