Extreme Baby Carrots: An Experiment In Marketing


If you try to tell teenagers that they should eat carrots because they are full of vitamins and good for their eyes, you’re probably not telling them anything they don’t already know. And, in fact, your message may be really annoying, says Ellen Thieken, a student at Mason High School near Cincinnati.

“When people hear ‘healthy,’ it scares them a little bit,” says Thieken. “A lot of people are like, ‘I hate healthy food. I don’t want to eat vegetables and stuff.’ “

So what are a bunch of carrot farmers who are trying to boost sales supposed to do? Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. A group of farmers have gotten together to launch a $25 million ad campaign aimed at making packaged baby carrots cool. The idea is that kids may eat more of them if they can think of carrots as a kind of junk food.

Rebranding ‘Healthy’

In one ad spot, a beautiful young woman stands behind a machine gun. She’s in the middle of a desert canyon, and she fires off rounds of carrots at a guy who is flying full-speed toward her in a motorized shopping cart.

At the end of the ad, there’s a big, fiery explosion when the grocery cart goes over the cliff. An adult might ask, “Why?” But according to high school senior Caleb Warwick, it’s not about meaning — it’s about feeling.

“It’s just to show the overall sense that this is an extreme, just crazy, you know, new idea,” says Warwick. “That’s the explosion: the shear power of awesome.”

Convincing kids that baby carrots are extreme, and that the crunch is really awesome, may seem …

Read the whole NPR story.

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