Celebs, Sports Stars Pushing Fruit, Veggies In Partnership For Healthier America Campaign

In a twist on the many star-studded campaigns for soda and CPG snack brands, celebrities and sports stars have gotten on board for a new marketing push for fruits and vegetables, from the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

PHA, a nonprofit that works with the private sector and was formed in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative,  brought together sponsor companies and foundations to launch a "brand" for fruits and vegetables, dubbed "FNV."

PHA announced the launch of FNV and its initial campaign, featuring celebrities and athletes who support the goal of increasing consumption and sales of fruits and vegetables among teens and moms, during its 2015 Summit this week.

A slick, music-backed teaser video, "Prepared to Be Marketed To," spells out the campaign's mission and highlights stars paired with various types of produce, including actors Jessica Alba and Kristen Bell, musician Nick Jonas, WWE's John Cena, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Jeff Green.



“FNV was inspired by big consumer brands, whose tactics are relentless, compelling, catchy and drive an emotional connection with their products,” said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler, in a statement. “We want to do the same thing for fruits and veggies, which have never had an opportunity to act like a big brand. Until now.”

“FNV seeks to create a cultural movement behind fruits and vegetables — one that parents will want to support, celebrities will seek to endorse and kids will find intriguing enough to get behind,” added Andrew Nathan, CMO for Victors & Spoils, the Boulder, Colo.-based agency that created the campaign. "The days of hum-drum health messages and finger-wagging PSAs are over.” The agency's Web site lists Coca-Cola, General Mills, Diageo, Smirnoff and Glaceau Vitaminwater as among its clients.

Initially, the campaign will consist mainly of short videos on social media networks, and will be expanded to TV spots and print ads in two markets (Fresno, Calif. and Hampton Roads, Va.) in the spring, PHA told the Associated Press

FNV has raised $5 million in funding to date and will continue fundraising efforts, with the intention of expanding the marketing over time, AP reported.

Founding supporters include Bolthouse Farms, the Campbell Soup Company division that's a leading producer of carrots, fresh juice beverages and yogurt-based dressings; Avocados From Mexico, which made headlines by being the first produce brand to advertise on the Super Bowl; The Honest Company, marketers of baby, personal care and home care products, vitamins and supplements, and other goods; and Sweetgreen, a seasonal kitchen with locations in the Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and Boston metro areas; and entertainment media giant WWE.

Also supporting the initiative are the Produce Marketing Association, Produce for Better Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"For this campaign to succeed, it will need a huge and sustained investment behind it, which I hope the industry provides," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in a statement about the FNV initiative.  He added that it would be ideal if government agencies also invested in similar campaigns. 

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