Can the carrot industry sex up its image by branding baby carrots as a munchworthy junk food a la Cheetos or Lay's Potato Chips? Crispin Porter + Bogusky seems to think so.
The high-profile ad agency is launching an ambitious $25 million campaign to help the carrot industry compete with the junk food industry. The campaign is being launched with the help of almost 50 carrot growers, including carrot behemoth Bolthouse Farms.
USA Today describes some of the ideas being tossed around: packaging carrots in snack food-like bags, selling them in vending machines (tests are already underway in school vending machines in Cincinnati and Syracuse, N.Y) , plastering carrot-themed billboards with slogans like "The original orange doodles," and promoting seasonal tie-ins (the Halloween tie-in is "scarrots," of course). The official campaign will launch next week, with a series of web ads and an iPhone app that will be flogged on BabyCarrots.com.
The ad campaign echoes the recent trend of fast food joints trying to gain new customers by touting the healthiness of their offerings (Wendy's natural french fries, anyone?). And it takes advantage of one of Crispin's strongest client bases, in junk food.
But carrots are ingrained in our minds as a healthy, family-friendly food from a young age — can an ad campaign really change that? And what happens when the kids eat the carrots — and discover they don't taste nearly as good as Cheetos?