Creative competition appeals to agencies to encourage kids to eat their greens

The Food Foundation hopes new Peas Please competition will encourage kids to eat their greens / Alexandr Podvalny

The Food Foundation has launched a competition with Sir John Hegarty, advertising creative and co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which aims to persuade children across the UK to eat more veg.

A recent report by the Food Foundation revealed that 95.5% of kids leaving primary school don’t eat enough veg, and parents of primary school children report that 13% of them eat less than a portion a day. Children’s recognition of logos and marketing relating to fast food brands forms at an early age and popular children’s characters are regularly used to sell fast food.

In 2014 the UK food industry spent over £250m promoting unhealthy foods for purchase in retail settings (Public Health England 2015b) but currently, only 1.2% of food and soft drink advertising goes on veg.

The competition invites creative agencies, advertising and design students to submit creative poster ideas, which could be turned into a range of marketing materials aimed at getting children to eat their greens.

The short-listed creatives will get a chance to meet Sir John on the day of judging and the winning entry will feature in The Drum magazine; the poster will be displayed in advertising spots across the UK and the winning ad will also be used by a major UK retailer.

Sir John Hegarty stated: "Advertising has a unique ability to change people's habits. Doing so for good reasons is something our industry should be more focused on."

Anna Taylor, executive director of the Food Foundation, commented: “We know that children are often able to recognise the golden arches before they can read their own name. Can you come up with a powerful creative concept that will convince the nation's children to tuck into veg instead of burgers? They're not eating enough veg to stay healthy, and we need to change that.”

In early October Sir John will whittle down the entries to a shortlist of 5 and chair a judging panel at the Food Foundation Vegetable Summit later that month to pick a winner. He’ll be joined on the panel by Michael Moszynski of London Advertising and a number of children.

The competition is part of the Food Foundation’s Peas Please campaign, a new initiative addressing declining levels of vegetable consumption. It aims to bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat healthier.

The Vegetable Summit will take place in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh on October 24.

The submission deadline for the competition is Monday 9 October. You can find the brief and entry form here.

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis works with Drum Network members to create stimulating online content and grow their agencies.

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