Brand love isn't necessarily the only emotion to aim for


Children are not eating the vegetables required for a balanced diet – in fact, 80% of kids (and adults alike) are not eating enough. Only 1% of food and drink advertising promotes vegetables, with advertising often geared towards snacks and drinks with high sugar or fat content. ITV wanted to change that, so teamed up with communications company adam&eveDDB to find a unique way to convince them to eat their greens!


  • Vegetables are disappearing from mealtimes, with parents opting for foods that are easier to cook or are less likely to result in an argument. 
  • 90% of children know vegetables are good for them, therefore tv advertising that spreads the same tired message will not be enough. 
  • Kids see vegetables as the least exciting part of their meal. They’re viewed as boring. 
  • The fact that they’re often told to ‘eat their greens!’ makes the problem worse, as children don’t feel like they’re in control. 
  • Children feel lots of emotion towards vegetables – often hate and disgust, but emotion nonetheless!


  • What if the hate and disgust children often feel towards vegetables was used as a positive? 
  • What if the fun elements from children’s toy advertising were used in a vegetable campaign? 
  • The ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ idea was born, which saw vegetables come to life as evil monsters that need to be eaten to be defeated. 
  • The advert spoke to children directly, telling them they’d been right all along about their hatred towards vegetables. 
  • The concept was gamified, with charts designed for family fridges to count how many vegetables had been eaten that week. 


  • Partners (Aldi, ASDA, Birds Eye, COOP, Iceland, LIDL, M&S FOOD, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, TESCO and WAITROSE & PARTNERS) support created an £800k creative idea backed by £5.5M of media.
  • The campaign reach was huge and reached 65% of households with kids. It featured in 5 hours of editorial content, with special on air pieces to camera from ITV Talent; Will I Am, Emma Willis and Ant & Dec. 
  • It made a huge impact on social with 170M potential Twitter impressions and terrific support online from schools, health organisations and celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Pru Leith. 
  • 300,000 veg reward charts and sticker packs were distributed to 10% of primary school children in Key Stage 2 and 3000 kids received cookery lessons in Lambeth. 
  • 44% of children who’d seen the ad agreed that people were talking more about veg, nearly 2/5 of children said it made them want to eat vegetables and 29% of kids said it had made them eat more veg as a result.
  • Econometric modelling showed a 2.3% of category veg sale uplift due to the campaign.
  • 17.7M units of featured veg were sold as a result of the campaign. 
  • Based on the £5.5M media value, the campaign had an ROI of 2.9 –even higher using the 50k actual cost per supermarket. 
  • The campaign worked. Research by YouGov, Childwise and Pearl Metric econometric modelling, overseen by marketing effectiveness expert Les Binet, showed that the campaign was effective at not just improving perceptions of veg amongst kids, but also driving behaviour change and increasing veg sales.
  • ITV have committed to support a second burst of the campaign in breaks in prime time Saturday night family shows and across the schedule. And we’re really excited to announce that Channel 4 will back the campaign with airtime too – with further support from other commercial broadcasters committed and to be announced soon. 

            Veg Power Campaign.jpg

The awkward truth about vegetables is some might say there's no emotion, but we knew deep down from talking to kids there was loads of emotion around vegetables. It just was a bit awkward for a bunch of people trying to sell the fact that vegetables were good – it was the fact that they actually hated them. Hugh de Winton, Planning Director at adam&eveDDB

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