A Social Butterfly/Girly Girl/Geek Chic/Trendsetter By Any Other Name...

If you were an apple, what personality type would you be?

As it happens, I’m a hybrid of a Social Butterfly/Girly Girl/Geek Chic/Trendsetter, as a four-fold aficionado of Gala, Cripps Pink (Pink Lady), McIntosh and Honey Crisp, respectively. And how do I know this? Because I was officially “appeltized” on the U.S. Apple Association’s very cool new web page, which prompted me – smack dab in the midst of National Apple Month – to do a little soul searching for the ideal apple of my apparently multiple-personality eyes.

The Vienna, Vir.-based U.S. Apple Association’s launch of AppletizeMe – in tandem with T. Marzetti Co., www.walnuts.org and California Milk Advisory Board – is a fun, engaging, social/digital and traditional online PR campaign aiming to inspire increased apple consumption by matching consumers’ personality traits with their ideal apple varieties and food pairings. The seasonal fall program matches prevalent apple varieties with products from these well-known brands in unique pairings and enticing recipes.

Prompting site visitors to determine their unique “apple personality” by reviewing a dozen personality types, each represented by cleverly illustrated apples, U.S. Apple team leaders are pertinently pumped to promote the campaign through a variety of social/digital initiatives, including Facebook ads, Twitter parties and a national PR campaign.

“It often takes something lighthearted yet catchy to get people to try something new,” says Wendy Brannen, U.S. Apple’s director of consumer health and public relations. “The fun of AppletizeMe is that it encourages us to walk outside of our typical apple-buying habits to check out different varieties and how we can eat them.” Better yet, Brennan says she “loves that by combining apples with our AppletizeMe partners’ products, we can also promote healthy new snack and meal solutions.”

AppletizeMe identifies perfect pairings to accompany each apple personality, such as Braeburn apples with Marzetti Peanut Butter Caramel Dip and chocolate chips, or Ginger Gold with Real California Blue Cheese and chopped California Walnuts. Individuals who share their apple personality on social media networks can enter for a chance to win special prizes via weekly drawings for iTunes gift cards throughout October, and drawings for two Apple iPads for individuals who enter through Nov. 21.

While AppletizeMe appeals to all audiences, Brennan says the site was designed with a special eye toward educating digital- and social media-savvy Millennials, who according to Millennial Behaviors & Demographics, “desire ultimate consumer control: what they want, how and when they want it,” and are projected to be more influential than any group before it. In addition, the 2012 Gen F Consumer Study on Apples found younger consumers have the highest frequency of apple consumption of all age groups.

AppletizeMe "humanizes and personalizes" apples for consumers, notes Brannen, which in turn helps them select distinct varieties with maximum "ap-peel" while educating them about nutrition benefits. “We hope it will increase brand loyalty among younger consumers and introduce them, not just to new apple varieties," but also to new ways of enjoying apples.

Indeed, given apples' storied association with health, wealth and happiness, this might be a good time for all of us to start taking apples a little more seriously.

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