A new ad campaign is out to rebrand baby carrots as "extreme" — and it's so crazy it just might work.
According to the AP's Emily Fredrix, 50 carrot producers have responded to slumping sales by banding together and hiring ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, famous for Burger King and Old Navy. The agency's solution: basically market baby carrots like vegetable Cheetos. In addition to the new packaging (note the shiny bags and Chester-Cheetah-like orange bunny), the agency has created a website that "features metal music and deep male voices chanting 'Baby. Carrots. Extreme'" (this is extreme-ly annoying). TV spots will "depict futuristic scientists studying crunch, a woman lusting after carrots and carrot sports featuring a young man who launches off a snowy mountain top in a grocery cart and catches in his mouth a carrot shot by a gun below." For Halloween, producers will offer Scarrots, packaged with glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoos (can the mascot please be this guy?).
Reading about these plans made me actually check the calendar to see if it was April Fools' Day, which is why they're genius. On one level, the junk-food-syle packaging (one of the carrots' new slogans is "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food") will probably actually appeal to kids used to picking up a bag of Doritos. But on another, the sheer silliness of the campaign will likely get people's attention. Reps for both the carrot producers and the ad agency are playing it totally straight, with the CEO of one carrot company saying, "We think ultimately long-term here we're going to turn it into a very vital brand in the mind of consumers." Come on, dude! Do you actually not recognize that extreme carrots are ridiculous? Can your bizarro website and orange bunny creature possibly be in earnest? These questions have kept me thinking about baby carrots for a good thirty minutes, and now I want some! Which is a pretty big feat for a product that is slightly more expensive and slightly grosser than just normal carrot sticks. Well played, carrot guys, well played.
Image via Babycarrots.com.