UF students in campaign to win over millennials

By JOHN HOWELL The Daily Fray
January 8, 2015 8:00 pm

Pouring a glass of orange juice each morning is old school. Only 17 percent of Americans are considered OJ loyalists, according to the Florida Department of Citrus. But the strategists seem determined to plug holes in consumption, reverse negative thinking and win a generation. For that they’ll need an app.

citrus“We describe this consumer as a four-screen consumer.” -- Doug Ackerman, head of Citrus Department

Millennials are the focus. The new Strategic Communication Agency at the University of Florida has enlisted students for a $500,000 PR campaign to study how their peers feel about OJ. The Agency's executive director is Andy Hopson, a veteran ad boss.

“No one is more qualified to market to Millennials than a team of Millennials,” said Hopson (at left), a former Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy executive. "We aim to build an international reputation by positioning The Agency as a Millennial marketing thought leader.”

Work/study jobs were pitched online at UF in November and 57 reportedly signed on for the spring semester, which began Jan. 5. Destination: Boston, a national hub for Millennials with more than 100 colleges and universities. 

simpson.jpgOJ sales have tumbled 41 percent since 2000-01, according to the Citrus Department. Consumers are noticing steady price bumps, too, according to monthly research. More than two-thirds of consumers are seemingly unmoved by advertising that 100 percent OJ is healthy and nutritious and just plain tastes good.

The apparent strategy: build a bridge to older OJ believers. In September, Captain Citrusa $1 million ad campaign – was invented to target the kids. And the 82 million Millennials are no-man's land in the beverage wars, Citrus Department executive director Doug Ackerman said in a radio interview.

“We describe this consumer as a four-screen consumer,” Ackerman said. “They have their cellphone screen. They have their iPad screen. They have their TV screen and they have their computer screen. You have to have specific applications, specific messaging, across those platforms to make sure they work synergistically.”


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