New Approaches for Oregon Promotions Program

The Oregon Blueberry Commission’s promotions program includes a few ongoing pluse a host of new approaches to getting the word out about the quality, health benefits and availability of Oregon blueberries and the value of the Oregon industry.

AM/Northwest vignette with brand ambassador Karista Bennett demonstrating a Sausage, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Flatbread with Oreogn blueberries.

“We have our traditional promotions out there, such as the media kits that we put together each year to get the word out about Oregon blueberries and the multiple ways consumers can access them,” said Bryan Ostlund, administrator of the Commission. “And we have our diverse social media component.”

As part of its traditional media campaign, the Commission is partnering with chef Christa Bennet to promote blueberries on the Portland television station KATU. The campaign will include several 15-second advertisements that will air on KATU, as well as four different vignettes featuring Bennet showing viewers her blueberry-centric recipes, which will air on the popular “AM Northwest” and “Afternoon Live” television shows.

In addition, chef Leif Benson, who has been called the Ambassador of Oregon Agriculture, is scheduled to participate in an “AM Northwest” segment promoting Oregon blueberries.

“Leif is always just great,” Ostlund said. “He is not only there to talk about a recipe, he is there to talk about an industry and all the good things blueberries bring to Oregon.”

KATU also will post shares of the presentations on its social media sites, according to Shawn Anderson of the Commission’s office, which will dovetail with the Commission’s social media campaign.

Example blog from "A Blossoming Life" featuring Oregon blueberries.

“During our harvest campaign, we will have five Instagram posts a week,” Anderson said. “This is an attempt to keep blueberries in front of people all season long.” The posts will include information on the health benefits of blueberries, recipes that include blueberries, as well as direct consumers to the Oregon Blueberry Commission website, where they will find a list of u-pick operations.

“This (on farm sales) is a part of the industry that has undergone consistent growth over the years,” Ostlund said, “and we try to do our part in helping our local growers.”

In addition to providing consumers a list of on-farm purchase opportunities on its website, the Commission provides point-of-purchase display materials to farms free of charge.

Also, as part of the Commission’s social media campaign, the Commission will partner with high-profile bloggers to promote the use of blueberries.

“The bloggers we are using are well known in the blogging community,” Anderson said. “One of the bloggers, for example, is very well known in the Keto diet community. Her website might have up to three million views in any one month. We have been very fortunate to partner with some of these very well-known bloggers.”

IMA Blueberrysharing the blueberry love at a farmers market.

A long-standing component of the Commission’s promotions program are appearances by Ima Blueberry and Ima Blueberry Too at farmers’ markets and other events. That will continue again in 2021.

“We have been lucky to work with such great people,” Ostlund said. “Ima Blueberry, who has been in this program almost since day one, is a particularly dynamic, positive influence. We get nothing but great feedback from the farmers’ markets. Even last year, amidst all of the COVID darkness, she was just a ray of sunshine, and the markets wanted her.”

“For many people, that was just a little slice of normalcy, to see a familiar face,” Anderson said.

For more information on the Commission’s promotions program, feel free to contact Anderson in the commission’s office.