Got a Desperate, Crushing Love for Plants? Here Are the Juice Ads for You

Humanaut's poppy, peppy work for Suja

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In case that 8th-grade lesson in photosynthesis didn’t stick, premium juice brand Suja kindly gives a modern refresher on the process, calling it “magical witchcraft” in videos that are colorful, visceral, Instagrammable and infinitely more entertaining than a middle-school textbook.

In its first digital shorts and integrated marketing campaign, Suja has a simple mandate for consumers: “Drink plants—take their power!” Plants are fueled by the sun, basically making them “solar batteries you can eat and drink,” says the enthusiastic voiceover.

Tossing in a little science is added ammunition for a series of food-porny images designed to make you want to shove a bunch of carrots into your face immediately. (Someone in the videos is actually shoving a bunch of carrots into his face, while other characters are kissing stalks of Lacinato kale, hugging armloads of watermelons and pawing on giant palm fronds.)

Suja’s executives cop to having an obsessive love for plants, according to Greg Rose, vp of marketing, with “posters of celery” instead of athletes or musicians tacked up on their bedroom walls. Pineapple pajamas are also involved, he says.

Tennessee-based agency Humanaut, which has worked with the brand since 2016, went bold and tactile for the first videos, punctuating them with bright backdrops, nature scenes, time-lapse photography, animated on-screen comments like “Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom,” and a serene yogi meditating with a grapefruit.

“If you love plants are much as we do, you wouldn’t just eat them,” the ad says, “you’d squeeze their tasty guts out into bottles and call it something fun to say like Suuuuuuuuja.”

The brand, sold at grocery and club stores, also plans to use social media, digital display, YouTube, in-gym, programmatic, out-of-home and live morning radio ads. Wild postings include a living plant wall in Los Angeles and billboards with seeds that consumers can take away and cultivate themselves.

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@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.