Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wannabe Junk Food

You can put racing stripes on a turd, but it's still a turd. Now baby carrots are not turds, but agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky have certainly given the lil snacks a racing stripe. Adding to the new trend of disguising or hiding healthy foods in not so healthy fare [examples here and here], Big Carrot baby carrot packaging company has hired the ad agency to give their carrot packaging some kid friendly appeal. The solution? Creating a new packaging look that mimics the traditional look and feel of potato chip brands. Not surprising, Crispin happens to have fast food titans like Dominos and Burger King on their roster so they're familiar with making unhealthy food seem oh so irresistable.

What's unique about this health food cover up is the strategy of using design styles and touchpoints typically seen in conjunction with fast food to market a health food. It's not hiding cauliflower in the mashed potatoes, it's using design choices and familiar fast food touchpoints to make carrots seem cool, approachable and desireable. But will the strong association with junk food via Doritos-esque packaging and marketing really convince kids that carrots taste good or just make them more fun to eat? It might not matter as long it results in increased carrot consumption. A colleague recently recounted the appall her daughter expressed upon discovering that the french fry shaped apples in her BK Kids' Meal were in fact fruit masquerading as french fries! Kids are not dumb, and duping them into eating healthy usually only works if they never discover said ruse. But this campaign isn't about hiding carrots, its about revamping their image, which just might work with picky eaters big and small.

See all of the incognito carrots campaign extentions at PSFK.

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