08 September 2010

New baby carrot marketing strategy makes eating carrots look cool

Between the commercials featuring young hipsters partaking in activities from partying to extreme sports and the always up-to-date—and well researched— sexy in-your-face style packaging, the junk food industry has exclusively nailed down cool for quite some time, until now.

A consortium of carrot farmers led by Bakersfield California-based Bolthouse Farms, aptly dubbed “A Bunch of Carrot Farmers”, has launched an advertising and marketing initiative aimed directly at the junk food industry.

"We feel that with the cultural climate around healthy snacking right now, there's a unique and timely opportunity to do the first ever consumer-based advertising for carrots," said Jeff Dunn, CEO of Bolthouse Farms.

The “eat em like junk food” campaign, created by ad agency CP+B, includes new modern packaging and television spots that promote baby carrots as the cool choice in snack foods, while at the same time having a little fun at the expense of the junk food industry.

The campaign’s online home, babycarrots.com, provides a great example of the satirical humor that CP+B utilizes to shift consumers’ attitudes from high fat, high calorie junk food to a more nutritional snack food alternative.

The web site greets visitors with a larger-than-life flash introduction that boldly states, “Prepare to eat ‘em like you’ve never eaten them before…EVER…BABY CARROTS!"

The flash introduction is followed up by a beat thumping tune with simple yet very effective lyrics, “Baby…Carrots…Extreme!”

The site itself offers a glimpse of the new baby carrot packaging, YouTube powered “Snacktackular TV”, and yes even nutritional information.

It’s almost enough to make Doritos eaters orange with envy.

"For baby carrots to join the conversation with other snacks, they need a bit of attitude," added Andrew Keller, partner and chief creative officer at CP+B. "Mocking modern snack marketing is a strategic way of creating that attitude."

And if the web site doesn’t give you enough “attitude” you can check out the carrot inspired iPhone video game. Yes there is a video game.

The campaign also features the world's first carrot-crunch-powered video game, "Xtreme Xrunch Kart," available as a free download at the iTunes store. The iPhone and iPod Touch game involves maneuvering a rocket-powered shopping kart by tilting the mobile device, while crunching real baby carrots into the microphone to trigger gravity-defying tricks.

The campaign will launch in its two test markets—Syracuse and Cincinnati—on September 13. Additional markets will be unveiled later this year.

With the assistance of ingenious veg marketing maybe someday parents will have to beg their children to put away the bag of baby carrots and slow down on the physical activity. We can dream can’t we?

Eric Fortney | @elfortney
Eric is the co-founder & executive editor of This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his TDIV work, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.