Cooking School Quizzes Prospective Students

NEW YORK The French Culinary Institute here is serving up a guerilla marketing campaign designed to stir interest among high school students in a career in the culinary arts.

A series of posters created by Planet Central, Richmond, Va., shows various animals—some cuddly, some creepy—and asks students if the fauna are friends or food. In one, a giant snail crawls across the poster with the questions, “This makes you want to: grab a barf bag” or “grab some garlic and butter?” Another poster presents a pair of fluffy, white lambs with the line, “When you see this you think of … a nursery rhyme” or “lamp chops with marinara sauce?” A checkoff box appears next to each option.

“This campaign was designed for a younger demographic, so it had to be fun and a bit in your face,” said Steve St. Clair, creative director at Planet Central. “We wanted to be irreverent, to provoke a reaction.”

Traditionally, FCI’s students are mid-career professionals. This is the first recruiting campaign that targets high school and early college-age students for the 20-year-old school. The posters will be distributed at career fairs and college fairs this spring.