Giant Brand Mascot Terrorizes Mall to Make a Point About Marketing Tropes

Humanaut, in its first work for Terra Chips, unleashes a veggie monster

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There’s a ginormous creature, covered head-to-toe in produce and foliage, lumbering around the neighborhood mall accosting random shoppers with questions about their eating habits.

Does this oversized, faceless Veggieman get his sought-after insight into consumers’ diets? Of course not. Adults avoid him like, well, broccoli, and children run screaming.

So maybe birthing a larger-than-life mascot—in this case, a nightmarish one—isn’t the best way to sell Terra Chips, according to the brand in a new campaign aimed at poking holes in conventional marketing tactics.

“Crazy Delicious Vegetables” comes from Tennessee-based Humanaut in its first work for the salty snacks since winning the account in December 2021. The independent agency is known for blazing a trail in organic and natural products, leaning heavily into satire and busting ad tropes with the goal of democratizing the category.

Humanaut, Terra Chips

‘Gateway snack’

Taking a typical junk food approach “seems really lame when you try to apply it to something healthy like vegetables,” David Littlejohn, founder and chief creative director at Humanaut, told Adweek. “But if you make vegetables taste great, kids and adults may be more likely to try them and love them.”

The campaign intends to push Terra Chips as a “gateway snack,” Littlejohn said.

Veggieman, meanwhile, is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. His outfit was custom crafted by a retired Disney Imagineer, using both raw and artificial vegetables and greens. It took several weeks to fashion, with each piece being attached by hand.

Humanaut, Terra Chips

Craving a new look

The new spots coincide with a package redesign—an updated look with prominent play for the product’s ingredients—and a repositioning that puts veggies at the forefront. Humanaut helped to “find a meaningful brand insight, tap into modern culture and refresh our brand presence,” according to Melinda Goldstein, CMO at Terra Chips’ parent company Hain Celestial Group.

Along with creating Veggieman, the ineffectual spokesman with parsnips for fingers, Humanaut takes a swing at TikTok in a spot featuring a synchronized dance crew. Podcasters and yogis who awkwardly cram veggies into their content also get light-hearted jabs.

“Influencers won’t get people to love vegetables,” the ad’s narration says. “But slicing them, seasoning them and crisping them into delicious Terra Chips will.”

The product, made from a mix of everyday and exotic vegetables like taro, sweet potato and batata, launched more than three decades ago from two New York chefs. Its recent marketing has included 2020’s vivid “Snack in TerraColor,” with affluent millennials as the target.

“Crazy Delicious Vegetables,” intending to position Terra Chips as “the most delicious, craveable form of vegetables on the market,” will get distribution on Meta, YouTube, online video and programmatic display.

CREDITS:

Agency: Humanaut

Chief creative director: David Littlejohn
Vp creative: Dan Jacobs 
Associate creative director: Emily DeMario
Art director: Patrick Horn
Copywriters: Emily DeMario, Steven Preisman, Prit Patel 
Designer: Travis Hitchcock
Senior brand producer: Ben Gortmaker
Senior project producer: Jes Shipley
Agency producer: Dani Harrison
Creative coordinator: Tarrisha Hicks

Production company: Humanaut

Executive producer: Tommy Wilson
Producer: Rachel Bohanon
Directors: Emily DeMario, Jeri Eduave
Director of photography (food): Isaiah Jay
Director of photography (talent): Jeri Eduave
Assistant director: Samuel Ibach
Associate producer: Anna Roncskevitz
Production coordinator: Carolita Claus
Art director: Paul Merchant
Post production supervisor: Kyler Potter
Editor: Jeri Eduave
Assistant editor: Jacob Dunn
Color: Annie Huntington 
Audio mix: Danny Cooper

 

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