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Baby carrot growers target snackers with integrated effort

The baby carrot industry is conducting an integrated marketing campaign to convince consumers that the vegetable isn’t just for health nuts.

“A Bunch of Carrot Farmers,” a coalition of 50 carrot growers led by Bolthouse Farms, the nation’s largest carrot producer, is behind the effort. The agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky is providing overall strategy, creative leadership and media planning and placement.

The $25 million campaign, which will launch September 13 in Cincinnati and Syracuse, NY, playfully uses the tag line, “Eat ’em like junk food.” The campaign will roll out over at least a year’s time

The theme of the campaign is to take jabs at the “junk food” industry. For example, billboards include slogans such as, “The original orange doodle,” “So what if our name doesn’t end in ‘itos?’” and “Try juicing a cheese puff.”

“We want to fundamentally change the way people think about baby carrots,” said Bryan Reese, CMO at Bolthouse Farms. “We want people to think about baby carrots as the ultimate snack food and not just a great-tasting vegetable.”

The campaign will use television, outdoor billboards and digital, including social media. The baby-carrot industry also launched a website at BabyCarrots.com and released a free iPhone and iPod Touch game, “Xtreme Xrunch Kart,” which requires players to crunch real baby carrots into the microphone, triggering a rocket-powered shopping cart to perform gravity-defying tricks.

The organization will also debut new packaging that resembles potato chip bags, as well as customized vending machines that are being tested at one school each in Cincinnati and Syracuse.

Virtually all of the marketing content bears the BabyCarrots.com web address.

 “At the end of the day, we’re after anyone who’s trying to live a healthier life and anybody who snacks throughout the day,” Reese said. “If you grab a bag of chips, chocolates or candy throughout the day, we’re trying to get you to grab a bag of baby carrots.”

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