A campaign that aims to get kids eagerly scoffing vegetables by depicting them as monsters to be destroyed is returning to TV – this time across the UK's three biggest broadcasters.
"Eat them to defeat them" first launched in January 2019 with a campaign created by Ifour and Adam & Eve/DDB for Veg Power, an alliance backed by all major UK supermarkets, along with frozen-food giant Birds Eye.
The initial run was supported by ITV, which provided £2m of free airtime across its channels – one of a number of initiatives backed by chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall to give the broadcaster a more proactive role in tackling major social issues.
It led to more than 650,000 children eating more vegetables and 18 million more units of vegetables sold, ITV said.
The campaign is now returning with a £10m media alliance between ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. It will kick off with an advertising roadblock across the three broadcasters tomorrow (15 February) at 7.30pm, with a combined airtime value of £3m, that is expected to reach 80% of households with children. It will take place across 12 channels including ITV, ITV2, Channel 4 and Sky One.
Activity will run for seven weeks and includes six 10-second spots. Each week of the campaign will focus on a different vegetable. Alongside the TV run, 1,500 schools will feature vegetable-related canteen recipes, posters and 450,000 reward charts and sticker packs for kids to take home.
Dame Rosie Boycott, chair of Veg Power, said: "The ‘Eat them to defeat them’ campaign has driven real behaviour change and is loved by children and adults alike.
"We've proven that the power of creative advertising can inspire children to eat more veg and reduce their chances of developing diet-related illness, so it's crucial that we build on this success. Industry, business and government must forge ahead and promote veg in more dynamic and creative ways."