Bolthouse Farms Sells Baby Carrots Like Junk Food

Another ANA conference lesson: think bigger

Bryan Reese thought a lot about Doritos in the development of Bolthouse Farms' successful campaign for baby carrots.

Reese's attitude was, If Doritos is doing it, we should too. This translated into quirky web content, edgy TV ads, cheeky billboards, vending machines and a fast-paced video game—all of which overtly targeted the teen skater crowd.

What the Doritos envy resulted in, Reese explained Saturday at the ANA "Masters of Marketing" conference in Phoenix, was a strategic shift from marketing carrots as vegetables to framing them as snacks. Hence, the tagline, "Baby Carrots. Eat 'Em Like Junk Food."

The reason? Thinking bigger about the product may broaden the opportunity, said Reese, chief maketing and innovation officer at Bolthouse. In fact, after heated internal debate, Bolthouse even went as far as to leave its brand name out of the marketing push. By focusing on the bigger problem of declining carrot sales, Bolthouse would benefit, even if its rivals did too.  The lesson here for all marketers: a rising tide raises all boats.