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I'm Chiquita Banana And I've Come To Say: I'm Back!

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 7, 2009 03:11 PM

In 1944, an illustrated and later animated character named Miss Chiquita was created to put a unique spin on selling bananas. The original jingle is perhaps one of the most recognized in advertising history. Now it's making a comeback after an absence of 20 years.

Chiquita Brands International wants new generations of consumers to recognize Miss Chiquita and sing that catchy tune. The company has produced a new television ad that reprises the song (it plays in the background, but without the lyrics) and depicts Miss Chiquita in the company logo at the end of the ad. An accompanying website, Chiquita.com, has some fun by allowing site visitors to record their own version of the Chiquita banana song.

Chiquita Brands was an early innovator in branding bananas. Starting in 1963, the company put a sticker with its brand name on each banana. Over the years, stickers were used for promotional purposes. The current sticker design features a stylized illustration of Miss Chiquita.

Today Chiquita Brands encompasses more than bananas. The majority of the company's ad dollars in 2010 will go towards advertising its Fresh Express brand of bagged salads. Tanios Viviani, Chiquita Brands' CMO, says the new advertising "is just the next step in turning Chiquita into a consumer-oriented brand instead of a commodity business." Viviani wants to see Fresh Express increase its market share because only 65 percent of households buy prepared salads on a regular basis.

Interestingly, Viviani and Chiquita's CEO, Fernando Aguirre, both worked at Procter & Gamble, and it shows. The planned advertising is based on two years of extensive in-store and in-home consumer research -- both familiar places for Miss Chiquita.

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