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The Dabur Foods Company owns rural Nepal.

The tiny towns that dot the Annapurna Circuit are relatively untouched by modern commercialism and marketing, with one exception: Real Fruit Juice ads. The the yellow logo of the Real Fruit brand is plastered EVERYWHERE along the Jomsom Trek portion of the Annapurna. (Otherwise, there isn’t a billboard or corporate logo to be seen.)

For whatever reason, Real Fruit Juice’s parent company, Dabur Foods, decided that they should focus its advertising dollars on the inhabitants (and trekkers) who go through these little mountain villages. In exchange for advertising, Real has provided FREE signs to business owners and the local government. Half the sign is a Real juice ad, the other half says “Welcome to Jomsom” or “Hotel Yak & Yeti.” They’ve also paid people (presumably very good money) to paint entire walls of their houses yellow, and slap the Real logo on it.

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The really interesting thing is we’re in a portion of Nepal that is accessible only BY FOOT or AIRPLANE, so all of the juice these billboards are advertising has to be carried (at least part of the way) by hand. We’re also in a region that prides itself for its REAL home-made fruit juice — of the crushed fruit variety. I’m not sure if it’s an effective marketing strategy or not, but I sure as hell was aware of Real Fruit Juice after only a few minutes of trekking. Brand recognition at least counts for something. (Below are a whole bunch more photos of the Real signs.)

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So, does the advertising work?

It must, because I saw a whole lot of THIS on the ground as well:

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People drink a lot of Real Fruit Juice in Nepal, and I don’t think it’s any surprise.