Who's bogarting the carrots?

November 4, 2010

There’s been a lot of discussion for a long time about less than healthy foods making claims about their healthful and good-for-you attributes. (Trix is part of a balanced breakfast!) But who ever thought that someone with a really, truly healthy product would go in the other direction?

Baby Carrots

Instead of talking about vitamins and minerals and (yawn) nutrition, Bolthouse Farms is hoping to hook new customers by counter-positioning its baby carrots. “Don’t listen to your parents, kids! These baby carrots are crunchy! Munchable! Orange! Isn’t that just like junk food?!”

And that’s the in-your-face marketing hook: “Eat ’em like junk food.” (Note the casual use of ’em instead of them. Nailed it!) The carrots are sold in snack-size bags designed to look like Doritos and Cheetos packaging, all skateboardy and radical. There’s a slacker-type rabbit on one bag wearing sunglasses, doing that cool thumb-and-pinky surfer thing. (But that’s cool, because he’s really making fun of people who do that thumb-and-pinky thing for real.) Another bag is mostly black with a dramatic orange power burst. I guess from ten feet away, no one will even know you’re eating vegetables. (Even though carrots are cool now. Right?)

But if you start to worry about your cool, don’t. The baby carrots brand has got you covered with a hard-driving, power-band music track and a radical iPhone video game. In order to play Xtreme Xrunch, you crunch (I mean xrunch) your carrots into the iPhone’s mic and “unleash unholy speed bursts and perform XTREME aerial tricks. Wicked!”

But to my way of thinking, this is where the branding effort starts to fall apart. The game works with any carrots.

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