Wanna Get Kids to Eat Carrots? Brand Them Like Junk Food

An ambitious new ad campaign by Crispin Porter + Bogusky tries to convince kids that baby carrots are like Doritos. (But what about the cheese dust?!)

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

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?

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  • Scott Byorum

    It's great if they eat them raw. But if they are packaged or advertised with a puddle of ranch it will defeat the purpose of getting them to eat healthier.

  • feetPLANTED

    Brilliant! I was just saying this the other day. My child has no problem singing the jingles of sugary cereals. I don't even think he cares that they're sweet, he just likes that they exploded on the tv commercial and/or on the packaging!

    Of course parents have to emphasize and guide their children, but it'll be so much easier for healthy foods to compete on the colorful, loud, sing songy level with the junk food! I can't wait for this!

  • Sheena Medina

    I think this only glosses over the core issue that we need to eat healthier as a nation. This is a nice gesture, and to Cia's point, it could be fun to watch the Beiber go hard behind a carrot campaign, but until we can get some real accountability in place for our poor eating habits, I don't think a wonderfully packaged ad campaign is going to to the trick. It's sort of like taking aspirin to treat cancer.

  • cia

    Also, if we adults stop talking about this within their earshot, then maybe kids won't think we're trying to make them eat carrots. It has to come from their peers so that they copy each other. I suggest Justin Beiber, or whatever his name is, start eating them on camera.

  • Alissa

    One thing I would recommend to is to get rid of the word "baby." No strong-willed kid I know wants to be associated with a baby food.