Weird Food News

Crispin Porter + Bogusky behind advertising ploy aimed at getting kids to eat vegetables

Boulder-based advertising firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky is renowned for using viral tactics and edgy (and sometimes controversial) campaigns to turn around floundering companies and proliferate products or ideas that, prior to their input, had little airtime.

Now, the heavyweights are taking on the task of feeding kids fruits and vegetables, a daunting endeavor for anyone in a country where childhood obesity is on the rise. But if anyone's up to the task, it's CP + B, the firm famous for the Burger King campaign that included oddities like the subservient chicken and the creepy king, and Microsoft's "I'm a PC" spots.

So what are they doing to prod kids to eat healthier? Tricking them -- specifically by making carrots look like junk food.

Baby carrots will get new packaging (inspired by Doritos) and spots in school cafeteria vending machines. The hope is that kids will be suckered in by the flashy bags, thereby enticing them to eat their veggies instead of cookies and chips.

No matter how pretty the product looks, though, presumably kids are going to realize that the orange sticks within aren't exactly Cheetos -- and that they've been duped. Figuring out how to hook in repeat business in the lunchroom, then, is still an obstacle, and one child psychologist even goes so far as to suggest coating the vegetables in natural orange powder.

Still, the ad firm has managed to breathe life into many long-dead concepts. Here's hoping it can also breathe life into a new generation of healthy kids.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk