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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Cuties use kid power to market oranges



Who knew that marketing could sell me oranges? I picked up a bag of Cuties oranges recently and we have been enjoying the easy-peel seedless wonders immensely. Then I run across Smithsonian magazine's great new blog, Design Decoded and read an absolutely incredible history of the seedless mandarin orange. While you may think produce is a weird topic for a design blog, writer Sarah C. Rich says the carefully designed fruit is  "the iPhone of the produce aisle."

Now back to my bag of Cuties. According to Rich, their brand name of Cuties has practically replaced their horticultural name, mandarins, in the way that Kleenex once replaced “tissue.”

And they have a very clever $20 million marketing campaign with cute commercials like this one you see above where a girl's voice asks, “You know why Cuties are small?” and she reaches for a Cutie and says, “’Cuz kids have small hands.” In another, a girl in a tutu lies on a sofa and asks, “You know why Cuties are seedless? ‘Cuz kids hate seeds.” In a third, a little boy sits cross-legged on the floor, peeling a piece of fruit. “You know why Cuties are so easy to peel?” The voice asks. “’So kids can peel ‘em.” Each spot ends with the campaign kicker: “Kids love Cuties, because Cuties are made for kids.”

This is what led to the orange landing on a design blog. "The mandarin’s superiority as a consumer product only dawned on me when the Cuties commercial delivered its message." she writes. "I was struck by the notion that this fruit is 'made' for kids. I wondered, has it been engineered in some way? (I learned that Cuties are not genetically modified—more on that later.) But Frankenfood fears aside, I was most compelled by the idea that the entire campaign focused on the physical and structural attributes of a Cutie. Essentially, this was a celebration of a fruit’s ideal design."

Check out her blog, she has a really fascinating way of looking at the world.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 2:40pm]


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