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Wonderful pistachio company has recently launched an enormous, $15 million advertising campaign filled with a host of celebrity endorsers. These celebrities included Snooki from “Jersey Shore”, the Winkelvoss twins (co-creators of Facebook), and Wee-man from “Jackass”. But Dominic Engels, the head marketer for Paramount Farms decided to include not-so-celebrities based on current pop culture. New commercials feature the Angry Birds, a cat playing a piano and the honey badger. All of these characters are not stand-out celebrities, but as Wonderful marketed to all kinds of potential consumers, more niche “endorsers” were needed.

As I have explained before, celebrity endorsements work for products where consumers are not deeply invested in the choice of products. This is called “peripheral route processing”. Choosing which brand of pistachio to get is one of these choices. Customers do not spend a lot of time or energy deciding which brand to buy, so celebrity endorsements work. Wonderful has called on a number of celebrities, reaching out to numerous target segments. This increases the chances that people watching their commercials or viewing their ads in a magazine will choose Wonderful next time they buy pistachios. By using niche characters, Wonderful connects on a deeper level with people who are familiar with the more obscure references in Wonderful’s commercials.

The new ad campaign seems to be working beautifully for Wonderful. ” From September 2010 to this October, sales for Wonderful Pistachios rose 134% by volume, according to SymphonyIRI,” (Wasserman, from Personally, Wonderful has done an amazing job cementing itself in my head as the best pistachio available. I can’t say for sure whether or not it was due to their commercials, but I buy Wonderful pistachios whenever I go to the grocery store.

*The views expressed in this blog are mine and not affiliated with the University of Southern California or its Master’s in Human Behavior program*


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