(May 30) Who’s the next Miss Chiquita? What’s the next bagged salad?

Developing a new product or memorable character, logo or other symbol for new or existing products is an invaluable marketing tool for growers and sellers of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But perhaps just as important, in a world of rapidly evolving communications technologies, is finding new media through which to deliver marketing messages. Sometimes, as Marshall McLuhan said four decades ago, the medium is the message.

Two industry organizations are getting that message. Earlier this month, the Lodi-based California Cherry Advisory Board launched www.bigbingboom.com, a Web site that features a retailer-oriented video promoting California bings.

The “Webisode,” as it’s called, is the first of its kind created for produce industry clients of MJR Media, a Fresno, Calif.-based advertising and design agency. It stars a mad scientist who looks like Albert Einstein and details the “work” of his fictional California Bing Cherry Advisory Board.

The video makes a point that cherry marketers have probably known, at least anecdotally, for some time: that adding just a little more shelf space for cherries at retail can generate disproportionately brisker sales.

It’s funny, it holds your attention and, most important, it works. You leave the Web site with the impression you’ve learned something about how to sell cherries.

Also jumping on the Web marketing bandwagon is the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission, which recently launched a contest through the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube. Story, Page A1.

Contestants vie for three $1,000 prizes by filming themselves doing something fun with Idaho potatoes for two minutes, then submitting the video to the Web site. To promote the contest, the commission created www.iTuber.org, a Web site on which “Gilligan’s Island” TV veteran and commission spokeswoman Dawn Wells shows off her unique way of peeling Idaho spuds.

We applaud the advisory board and the commission for their efforts to differentiate their marketing messages through the use of new media, and we look forward to seeing more marketers of fruits and vegetables tap into the power of the Web and other communications technologies.