Eat Them to Defeat Them, the award winning campaign with Veg Power to encourage children to eat vegetables, is returning as part of a ground-breaking £10m media alliance between ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, aimed at improving children’s physical health over the next three years.
Eat Them to Defeat Them 2019 proved hugely successful, with over 650,000 children eating more vegetables and 18 million more units of vegetables sold – enough for an extra portion of vegetables on every family dinner table in the UK for each week of the campaign. This proof-of-concept showed the positive power of media in changing behaviour.
The landmark campaign originally launched in January 2019 as a collaboration between ITV and Veg Power, with dedicated funding from a number of supermarkets (Aldi, Asda, Birds Eye, Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco), and pro-bono contributions from advertising and media partners.
The campaign is now back and ready to make a bigger statement in 2020 – this year Eat them to Defeat Them launches with a roadblock advertising campaign across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky on Saturday 15th February at 7:30pm, with a combined donated spend of £3 million in broadcast airtime. This will enable a reach of 80% of households with children, in the biggest ever single campaign to promote vegetables in the UK.
Following the launch and throughout the seven-week campaign, the initiative focuses on a different vegetable each week, encouraging children to join the fight to defeat the vegetables. Over 1,500 schools will also be taking part, with vegetable-related canteen recipes, posters and 450,000 reward charts and sticker packs for kids to take home. Communications agency adam&eveDDB will be creating six brand new ten second ad spots for the campaign, with additional support across supermarkets and food brands.
It’s time to inspire children to eat, and defeat, even more vegetables in 2020.
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.”
Clare Phillips, Director of Social Purpose at ITV said “The 2019 campaign results really blew us away - showing Eat Them to Defeat Them is a powerful behaviour change tool to get kids eating healthily. So ITV are delighted to be leading it again, mobilising an even bigger alliance of partners, and we hope to get hundreds of thousands of children eating more vegetables as a result.”
Matt Salmon, Interim Sales Director, Channel 4 said: “Channel 4 has a proud history of programming that enables viewers to make informed choices around food, health and wellbeing and we believe TV advertising has just as important a role to play in supporting children’s health issues.
The fantastic results of Eat Them to Defeat Them 2019 proves the power that TV advertising has to positively inspire and educate people and demonstrates the real social impact broadcaster collaboration is delivering - changing the eating habits of hundreds of thousands of children for the better.”
John Litster, Managing Director, Sky Media said: “Sky has a rich and extensive history of encouraging young people to take part in healthy and active lives through sport and we are excited to build on this in 2020 by partnering with ITV and Channel 4 in this campaign. The strong results of Eat Them to Defeat Them 2019 is clear evidence that TV advertising has a fundamental role to play in inspiring future generations in a fun and engaging way.”
Sir John Hegarty, founder of the agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, said “‘Changing children’s perception and habits of vegetables will need radical and daring communication. lecturing will never work, challenging them will. And that’s what our campaign did and that’s why it’s beginning to work.”