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Horticultural Crops

ATP-funded TV Advertising Invigorates California Prune Exports to Japan



Attachment Success Story Japan - March 2020 story only


Success Stories - Japan 2020 03 picture only

The California Prune Board (CPB) used Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funds, awarded to offset trade losses attributable to the U.S.-China trade war, to effectively arrest a precipitous decline in exports to Japan, its largest market. CPB produced a 15-second television commercial (TVCM) entitled “Blessings of California” to set California Prunes apart from tariff-free competition from Chile and France, and communicate their quality and health benefits to the largest possible number of Japanese consumers. It was aired on a total of six terrestrial broadcasting stations for two weeks in October in three major metropolitan areas accounting for 52% of the Japanese population and 75% of supermarket prune sales by value. Ninety percent of those responding to an independently conducted survey indicated that they found the advertising appealing with more than half indicating that it had persuaded them to buy/eat more prunes. This was reflected in independent data indicating a boost in per capita purchases averaging 6.3% over the previous year (3 percentage points above our goal). In addition, the commercial was reformatted and recycled as digital signage to synergistically and cost efficiently buttress the impact of CPB’s MAP-funded activities. The first 7 months of 2019 saw California Prune exports to Japan plummet by 16% in volume and 20% in value. However, the last 5 months, coincidental with CPB’s outreach to the trade about the upcoming advertising campaign, saw that decline slowed and virtually halted to just a 4% decline in volume and 3% in value, clear evidence that effective promotion can have a profound impact even in the most tortured market climate. CPB will build on that momentum with a second campaign in 2020.