Packaged goods giant Unilever is debuting only one product in the United States this year — Fruttare Fruit Bars, which is looking to associate itself with music out the gate with a pair of high-profile partnerships. The first is a collaboration with Ne-Yo and Cher Lloyd, announced Wednesday with an event in New York City, in which the two artists will write and perform an original song together inspired by lyrics submitted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the brand’s tagline “It’s All Good” (or hashtag #ItsAllGood.) The other is a first-time sponsorship of Coachella, where Fruttare will join a roster of returning sponsors this weekend that also includes H&M, Heineken, JBL, Play Station and Red Bull.
Unilever’s last U.S. ice cream launch, for Magnum in 2011, incorporated elements of celebrity and music in its marketing – including a 2012 partnership with the Billboard Music Awards and Natasha Bedingfield.
Fruttare has been present in 15 other countries since the late 1980s when it was founded in Brazil, but for the U.S. launch Unilever wanted to zero in as music as a way of connecting with millennials. “They are changing the snacking landscape as we know it today – over 35% of their meals are snacks and they’re willing to eat dessert before breakfast,” says Nick Soukas, Unilever’s director of ice cream. “This was something that really inspired us at Fruttare. Those consumers tend to be someone who’s positive, upbeat, fun, so as we thought about the brand how it could play those roles in people’s lives, music really helps us connect with that mindset.”
Starting Wednesday through May 20, all the hashtagged “It’s All Good” content will be streamed on Fruttare’s U.S. Facebook page, which Ne-Yo and Lloyd will review to inform the writing process for an original song inspired by the campaign’s theme. The track will be released later this summer, and performed by Lloyd and Ne-Yo at Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas this September. “I always try to look on the bright side of things, so it’s cool to have the opportunity to bring that philosophy to life in a new song,” Ne-Yo said in a statement. “I’m excited to work with Fruttare and Cher to let our fans inspire the songwriting process. I can’t wait to see what people share.”
Lloyd added in a statement, “I can’t wait to see how our different styles come together to create a new sound. We want people to have an ‘It’s All Good’ vibe all summer long, so we’re hoping to create a fun song that people can’t get out of their heads.”
For its Coachella activation, Fruttare will host a Fruttare Hangout booth for festivalgoers to relax and sample free products. Fruttare will debut in the U.S. with two different product lines — Fruit and Milk bars in Strawberry, Coconut, Banana and Peach flavors, and Fruttare Fruit and Juice Bars in Strawberry, Orange, Mango and Lime flavors. “Coachella has quickly become the quintessential music festival and is one of the key places where our target consumers are checking out the latest bands and newest sounds,” Soukas says.
A national TV, digital and social media campaign will also kick off later this month created with Spanish ad agency Lola. As for future music activations, Soukas noted, “We’re always keeping our eye open for great partnerships that can really make this brand loved by millennials around the country.”