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Green Giant Goes 'X-Rated' in Web Videos

Edgier Campaign Targets Millennials

By Published on . 1

Another family food brand is losing its innocence. This time it's Green Giant, whose new weight- management-focused campaign includes a series of suggestive web videos called "Caught in the Act – Extra Vegetable Affair."

In this one below, a husband spies on his wife after suspecting her of having an affair. "It's so much bigger than I'm used to," he hears her say, while listening in from a surveillance van before busting in the bedroom. As it turns out, the object of her affection is not another man, but a heaping bowl of vegetables.

The campaign takes the General Mills-owned brand a long ways from fairy-tale-like valley where the iconic Jolly Green Giant has long presided. But the suggestive approach is fast becoming the norm for big food brands, which are leaving smiling family ads behind in favor of booze and sex references in an attempt to break through with ad-weary millennial audiences.

For instance, Ragu caused a stir last year with a spot that referenced the sexual habits of parents. The Milano cookie brand, meanwhile, is running the edgier "My Yummy Secret" campaign that makes a reference to a boozing suburban housewife.

The Green Giant videos are part of an effort by the brand to broaden its reach from moms to millennial women. So the brand felt it needed a more entertaining approach, said Green Giant Brand Manager John Stockman. "How do we not talk to people but talk with people and do it in an engaging way?"

Still, the brand was careful to confine the edgier ads to the web, where they will run on properties such as Eonline.com and Popsugar.com. The TV spots (example below) are more traditional.

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The goal of the campaign is to sell Green Giant veggies as an alternative to snacks like cookies and crackers with the underlying message that "bigger is better." In other words, consumers can eat much bigger portions of veggies than traditional snacks for the same amount of calories. The campaign includes a partnership with Dr. Venus Nicolino, better known Dr. V of the Bravo TV show "L.A. Shrinks," who on the behalf of Green Giant will help 10 bloggers "kick their worst diet-cheating habit"

Agencies on the campaign include Saatchi & Saatchi for creative, Olson for PR and Zenith for media.

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