Can ITV and Veg Power’s zombie brussels sprouts persuade kids to eat more veg – and fend off ad ban?

Noticed the other day that sales of “plant-based” food are plateauing, consumers getting tired of meat taste-a likes that don’t seem to cost less than meat perhaps.

Can you get plant fatigue? Every cookery programme or recipe collection seems to major on them and not just because we’ve somehow survived “veganuary.” David Attenborough is exploring the secret life of the lettuce on the airwaves too.

Children are another matter of course and, on the face of it, there’s nothing not to like in the tie-up between ITV and other commercial broadcasters and something called Veg Power which aims to get kinds to eat more vegetables (well, any vegetables.)

For its fourth campaign ITV and Veg Power have enlisted adam&eveDDB, who obviously had a lot of fun with ‘eat them to defeat them,’ veggie zombies bombarding people with brussels sprouts. Until the kids eat them up.

Susie Braun, director of social purpose at ITV, says: “It’s never been more important to make sure our kids eat well, and the best way of doing that is to make it fun. ‘Eat them to defeat them’ has proven to be an incredibly effective way of changing children’s eating choices, and ITV is proud to once again be behind it.”

Verica Djurdjevic, chief revenue officer at Channel 4, says: “‘Eat them to defeat them’ has been a fantastic success and delivered amazing results. Channel 4 is delighted to be part of such an important mission which has real impact on children’s lives and well-being. Introducing healthy eating from the outset doesn’t just mean children are getting more vitamins and fibre into their diets, it helps develop healthy eating habits which will last a lifetime.”

C4’s chief revenue officer won’t be wholly unaware that there’s increasing pressure to ban all HFSS (high fat, sugar and salt) product advertising from the airwaves (there’s already a watershed in place.)

One of those where you have to read the small print before dishing out too many plaudits.

But A&E has done a good job. Kids willingly eating veggies though? More chance of meeting a zombie perhaps.

MAA creative scale: 7.5.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.