Veggies Are Monsters You Must Eat to Defeat in This Fun Ad Urging Kids to Snack Healthy

Adam&eveDDB shows a world in produce-plagued peril

Can anyone stop the invasion of vegetables? Children must answer the call. adam&eveDDB

It’s like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes—but this time, the whole salad joins the fight!

That obscure movie reference leads us to a new campaign from ITV and Veg Power. Designed to entice British kids to eat more vegetables, the effort features a wonderfully overblown spot created by adam&eveDDB and Pulse Films’ director Ninian Doff.

The 60-second clip takes the form of a horror film trailer, and opens with a dire warning: “They come from deep underground. Water makes them stronger. Sunlight fuels their power. And they will stop at nothing until they’ve taken over the world.”

We’re not talking about zombies or prehistoric monsters. Still, a squadron of Brussels sprouts—united for the purpose of global domination and dive-bombing rush-hour traffic—is pretty horrifying in its own right.

Of course, the real war is against childhood obesity and diet-related diseases, with research finding that 96 percent of teenagers and 80 percent of primary-school kids in Britain don’t eat enough vegetables. Dubbed “Eat Them to Defeat Them,” this new campaign tries an empowerment approach, casting kids as the saviors of humanity.

It’s certainly a fresh twist, and the spot’s ridiculously dramatic attack scenes are a real hoot. Though clearly played for laughs, the imagery is just edgy enough to leave its mark. (That ear of corn’s sinister grin is—wait for it—amaizing!)

“Solving the nation’s health issues will take a wide range of actions and collaborations, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to play a small part in tackling them head on,” says Mat Goff, CEO of adam&eveDDB.

Along with the spot, breaking tonight on ITV’s long-running Coronation Street, the initiative includes online, social, outdoor, cinema and print support.

“Using advertising to encourage children to love veg is an incredibly important step towards transforming the nation’s health,” says legendary creative executive John Hegarty, the “H” in ad shop BBH and a Veg Power advisor. “I hope this daring campaign will have real impact and will inspire others around the globe to use creative ideas to solve one of the greatest challenges we are facing in today’s world.”

The push is funded by a coalition of supermarkets: Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrison, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, along with food brand Birds Eye.

“Eat Them to Defeat Them” continues the trend of novel healthy eating campaigns. In 2017, viewers lapped up Plus’ “SuperSaus” push (for a sauce made of greens). More recently, Ore-Ida stooped to bribery, while Intermarché gave us something to grow on.


Client: ITV & Veg Power
Brand: Veg Power
Project/Campaign name: Eat Them to Defeat Them
Client: Dan Parker, CMO, Veg Power; Jo Ralling, Campaign Director, Veg Power
Rufus Radcliffe, CMO, ITV; Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose, ITV; Lucy Pack, Marketing Manager, ITV
Chief Creative Officer: Richard Brim
Copywriter: Mark Lewis & Matt Fitch
Art director: Matt Fitch & Mark Lewis
Agency producer/s: Sally Pritchett
Planner/s: Martin Beverley, Hugh De Winton, Sara Keegan
Chief Executive Officer: Mat Goff
Account Director/s: Mitch Lovich
Account Executive/s: Clive Olamiju
Project Manager: Alice Southam
Marketing & PR Manager: Jessica Dunley
Designer/Typographer: Danny Edwards
Media agency: Goodstuff
Production company: Pulse Films
Executive Producer: Lucy Kelly
Producer: Ellie Fry
Director: Ninian Doff
Production Manager: Ria Hanish Oakes
Production Designer: Tim Gibson
Cinematographer: Patrick Mellor
Editing Company: Work Post
Editor: Mark Edinoff
Postproduction: nineteentwenty
Post Producer: David Keegan
VFX Supervisor: Ludo Fealy
2-D Artist : Robert Lilley, Nicole Palucsis
3-D Lead : Martin Blunden
3-D Artist : Mike Farrar, Josh Barlow
Colourist: Kai Van Beers
Music Supervisor: String & Tins
Audio Postproduction: Adam Smyth @ String & Tins
Soundtrack name and composer: Veg Power Trailer String & Tins, composers – Lukas Ledzki and Michal Smorawinski.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: January 25, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT