Extreme Vegetables

AP Photo/Crispin Porter + Bogusky

By now you may have read about the new campaign to make baby carrots into the new Cheetos (so to speak). If you haven’t, it’s a marketing blitz aimed at redefining baby carrots as cool, dangerous and sexy; on par with junk food.

Taking some inspiration from the Got Milk? people, the carrot guys will be starting the campaign by packaging little carrot bags as “Scarrots” to be used as treats on Halloween.

Now, I don’t know about you, but in my day, the hippie parents who handed out little boxes of raisins in lieu of candy were most likely the ones who got their houses t.p.’d the following year.

Scarrots? That’ll be quite a sell.

Don’t get me wrong. I love carrots.

They taste just like candy!

And I’m all for questioning the wisdom behind the Great American sugar binge that takes place every October 31st, despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed my own Laffy Taffy-induced haze every year as a kid.

At the end of the night, we’d display our booty on the living room floor in categories: mini chocolate bars, hard candies, Tootsie Rolls/Taffy, licorice, candy corn, gum, things that burn the skin off your tongue (Poprocks, SweetTarts) and hippie items (raisins, pennies and miscellaneous).

Mom actually had to put most of it in a plastic bag and stash it on the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet, where it remained –still good, I swear!— for months, until we eventually forgot all about it, and the candy merged into one giant, fused piece.

Can carrots do that? I think not.

However, there’s a lot that carrots can do. As the richest source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes, carrots promote good vision (especially night vision). They’re an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, which help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer, and they even help protect the lungs from second-hand smoke!

But that’s not what the carrot guys want you to focus on.

Everybody knows that carrots are good for you, but few know that by eating carrots you will become both popular with women and also bulletproof.

Baby. Carrots. Extreme.

More power to the carrot guys, say I.

Beginning in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Syracuse, New York, the campaign will take about a year to go national. It will launch ads featuring “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,” according to an AP article by Emily Fredrix.

“This campaign is about turning baby carrots into a brand,” said Jeff Dunn, CEO of Bolthouse Farms. “We think ultimately long-term here we’re going to turn it into a very vital brand in the mind of consumers.”

This is great stuff.

But what I love most about this campaign is that it gives those of us who share similarities with vegetables, personality-wise, some hope at becoming popular and hot. If it works for edibles, it should work for people, too, right?

I mean, in theory, all you’d have to do is show, say, Laura Ingalls, skydiving or Nascar racing, and suddenly “Half-pint” would have the same appeal as Danica Patrick.

Actually, come to think of it, this might explain the phenomenon that is the talented and deserving Betty White right now. Although her recent popularity with twenty-somethings may not be the result of a campaign per se, she seems to have become the extreme baby carrot of veteran actresses, hasn’t she?

Anyway, I hope this campaign succeeds.

I’m rooting for the humble carrot.

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2 Responses to Extreme Vegetables

  1. Kaleena says:

    It’s an interesting concept, for sure. Anything that could encourage children (or people in general) to eat more veggies is good stuff.

    With that said, if I was a trick-or-treater and got carrots from someone, I would be distraught. I would wonder what I did on a karmic level to deserve something so average, so lame, so terribly, painfully NOT delicious that I would have to take a solid ten minutes on the sidelines to lick my wounds…or a Reese’s.

    Die Hard Chocolate Fanatic.

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