Super Bowl push for locally grown pistachios

January 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Companies are shelling out $4 million to air their 30 second TV commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. But one ad will feature a breakthrough singer urging consumers to eat valley grown pistachios - Gangnam style.

Over a billion Youtube hits tell you fans have gone nuts over Psy and his signature "Gangnam style" song and dance number. Wonderful Pistachios vice president of marketing Marc Seguin said, "We knew for the Super Bowl since it was going to reach over 100 million people on Sunday we needed to have the hottest celebrity on the planet and right now Psy is the biggest celebrity there is. Psy is going to leverage his great moves and open them only as Psy can.

Psy is so popular even Madera pistachio grower Tom Coleman knew all about him. But Coleman was worried when Wonderful began paying celebrities for their "Get Crackin" campaign a few years ago. Coleman said, "I thought the amount of money they were having to spend for the kinds of advertising that it would have to come out of grower returns and the reverse has been true. They've spent money and we've made money."

Coleman has been growing pistachios since 1982. The nuts weren't marketed back then. "Gosh I don't know that anyone did anything other than going and meeting with buyers and shaking hands."

It wasn't long ago a magazine ad featuring pistachios was seen as a risky move. Coleman explained, "Just the idea that there would ever be a television ad is shocking to me and then a Super Bowl ad is really phenomenal."

Now the Wonderful Pistachios ads have been so successful friends and family call him from around the country. He said, "They somehow seem to think that I have control of the ads because I've been in the industry for so long. They call and make suggestions about how to change the ads."

Psy's selection helps the industry reach further into Asian markets and on Sunday the little green nut will go Gangnam style.


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