Ad Industry: The Missing Link in Getting Children to Eat More Veggies

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It is the job of advertisers to convince ordinary people to buy a particular product. And with advertisements featuring crisps, burgers, and fizzy drinks, it is no wonder why it is so easy for people to indulge in unhealthy eating habits. But what if ads can turn around the eating habits of people and convince them to eat healthily?

The Popeye Moment

Well, this has happened in the past. Remember the iconic cartoon character Popeye? The spinach-gulping sailor boosted the rise of spinach sales during the Great Depression of 1930. In fact, regions that grow spinach erected status of the sailor out of gratitude. This was also the generation when people consumed more vitamins because they ate healthily.

This is the reason why ad man Dan Parker thinks that it is time for the marketing industry to deploy ads depicting healthier eating habits to entice viewers particularly children to eat healthily. Currently, many children perceive vegetables as the bad guys and this is the reason why they don’t eat vegetables. But if this perception can be changed, it will encourage children to eat more veggies.

Dan Parker worked with the campaign group Peas Please that is backed by famous chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in order to roll out a campaign to alter our perceptions on vegetables and eating healthily.

Normalizing Veggies Consumption for Children

One of the most important methods of changing the perception of people towards eating vegetables is to normalize it. The thing is that the food industry has played with our desire to fit in. For instance, we have been persuaded that eating a snack during mid-morning and mid-afternoon is normal and that eating large portions of meals is normal.

If advertisers can perceive eating healthy as normal, then this can work for everyone. Frozen food company Birds Eye, for example, spends money on marketing vegetables and is supporting the Peas Please campaign. The core message of the company is to normalize frozen vegetables.

How the Internet Can Encourage Everyone to Love Vegetables

Showing infomercials about eating healthy is also helpful. Today, this can be easily done by using the social media to promote eating healthy among people. Campaigns should be effective enough such that it can make people feel and think differently about vegetables. The holy grail is how to raise the idea that eating vegetables can be fun.

This can be easily done by seeking help from celebrities whom children and people, in general, look up to. For instance, school children from the Pentrefoelas Community School in Wales posted pictures on social media together with chefs and football players while having fun holding carrots and cabbages. This can be done anywhere to show to everyone that eating vegetables is not boring.

The thing is that effective advertising can stir emotions. Dan Parker noted that if you are in an emotional state, then you become more susceptible to subliminal messages which makes it is easier to influence you to do something… in this case, buy and eat healthier foods.

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