The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

market research (or help me with my school project)

Why Eat the Ugly Apple? Which Veggies Do You Want To Eat?
click to enlarge, yo

These posters are part of a project I had to do for class. Unfortunately, the, kinda fell by the wayside and my partner and I need reactions to it. NOOOOW.

Our project was to make some kind of marketing campaign to raise awareness about local, sustainable agriculture as opposed to...well, the other stuff. Agribusiness, produce that comes from a bagillion miles away, etc.

We're not in a graphic design course, so we're not looking for responses about the design as much as the message. (Yeah, they're both important and we like suggestions, but our project is focused on food, not design.) Since most of your are probably food-minded, you might already know about farmer's markets and why it's better to eat local food.

...But if you're not so food minded, would these posters incite any interest? We tried to make it somewhat eye-catching and mildly professional.

We plan to print up a bunch of copies and hang them up...somewhere. We don't know. SOMEWHERE AROUND NYU. If you have suggestions, let me know. Hell, feel free to print this out and hang it up somewhere. If you're bored.

Feel free to leave comments on this post or on the flickr page. I'm not planning to reply to comments (or maybe I'll do that in another post), I just want to collect them. Yeah, I'm USING YOU FOR YOUR BRAIN MEATS. I think it's fair though...I spend buttloads of time eating, taking photos, and writing a bunch of crappy commentary to accompany the eating and the photos, and in the process a lot of time gets sucked away from my schoolwork. Hohoho! Oh.

...God, I'm gonna be screwed when I graduate. Yeah, well.

Thanks for your help!

UPDATE: Most people are commenting about the design, which is fine, but my partner and I are more interested in whether this raises awareness about local food. We've already established that the designs aren't super effective, so what we need to know is if these posters raise awareness about local farms and whatnot...or...okay, I don't know. Our paper is due on Friday so we're NOT going to redo these posters completely (there's just not enough time), but we can use your suggestions in our paper as to what we'd do differently if we could do this again.

ANOTHER UPDATE: There seem to be two major opinions; add more information (for the sake of being....more informative) AND to take information out (for the sake of brevity and not being cluttered). Confusing? Hooyeah! I'm not sure where we're going with that.

Um, another update?: My brain melted. I mean...thank you very much for your comments! The idea I'm getting now is that this obviously reaches a lot more people on the Internet than if we splodged up some flyers around NYC. Hm. We will definitely tweak stuff.


ed / May 1, 2006 10:49 PM

it's hard not to make a comment on graphics when you've presented the farmer's market produce a lot more appealing than market produce. the contrast grabs attention and makes you want to take a closer look. not to mention the huge 'vs' type to further strengthen that effect. it grabs attention from the getgo.

once you pick up interest, there is a posted short, but sufficient set of facts that try to further boost farmer's market produce superiority. of course, any facts added will make most readers feed informed and able to make a better decision, thus leading one to behave more strongly towards pro-local produce. however, it all seems to focus on time. (of course, distance was mentioned as well, but ultimately, it was to advocate the timeliness of food, which degrades over time)

overall, it's great. my only 'criticism' if you could call it that is this: while the argument is great, i'd have a personal preferance of presenting the positive side of what i'm trying to sell (banking on freshness) instead of presenting the negatives of the competition (banking on unfreshness). but that's just me.

i hope this was the kind of answer you were lookin for. if not, then please do accept my being at the office a few extra minutes late as a simple offering of thanks for your site ^_^

Jeanne / May 1, 2006 11:12 PM

Overall I really liked the bright fresh green you used and the posters are a great idea since, well, everyone has to wait for a bus or train or something and these would be fun to read. I don't know if this is my peculiarity...but I don't think the farmer's market apple is I would agree with one of the commenters on your Flickr that "ugly" is maybe not the best word/comparison to use. I hope this helps!

Griff / May 2, 2006 5:00 AM

Overall a very effective ad. Previous poster stated to accent the positive, I agree.
The positive and more information on why I should choose the farmers market over grocery is a good strategy.

Cathy / May 2, 2006 8:23 AM

I know you said to comment on Flickr, but I don't have an account and I'm too lazy to sign up. :) Overall, I think the message of your posters is awesome and I really think it's going to get a lot of people thinking. I don't think people take advantage of their local FM's like they should, probably because they're not informed. Here are some of my thoughts on the posters:

Apple Poster: I like the tagline. It's catchy and I don't think it'll do a disservice to the FM apple because it looks yummy to me, just not as shiny and plump like the other one. Your face the facts info is interesting. Maybe you could include some info on how long the FM produce is stored and transported-to help go along with the "vs" theme. This is strongest poster of the two.

Veggies: This one is weaker. I struggle to get the overall message on this one. Is it about freshness? price? community responsibility? Maybe a catchier tagline would help. The face the facts info is a little vague. Some statistics like in the apple poster would do better I think. If your theme is about price, then maybe throw in some price comparisons. I know my local FM's prices are always cheaper, sometimes, significantly cheaper.

Hope this helps. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with it.

twobrain / May 2, 2006 9:02 AM

anthony bourdain went to a poutine place on no reservations last week or two weeks ago! crazy combinations ... gravy and curds is just the base... they have crazy combinations... not exactly what id consider creative though...

Michael Sid / May 2, 2006 9:28 AM

For the apple poster, I'd make the argument about distance stronger. In addition to eating wax and preservatives you are eating x gallons of gasoline per bushel, etc. These sorts of arguments are used a lot in Michael Pollan's new book "The Omnivore's Dilemna". He talks not only about industrial conventional food but also about industrial organic (the stuff from Whole Foods). Although industrial organic doesn't have the wax and preservatives it still is trucked 3000 miles so it uses plenty of petroleum.

Deb / May 2, 2006 9:45 AM

They're a good start.

You might want to do a bit of research on how pesticides affect the human body as well as animals in the food chain. Personally, I'd want a few more numbers: how many local farms you'd support, how much money, etc.

Also, local doesn't necessarily mean organic or better, unfortunately--much as I'd like it to be so. But it would be interesting to see how many local farmers are organic.

I won't comment on the design since you specifically didn't want any.

"Why eat the ugly apple?" is a GREAT line. You might want to do something similar for the veggies to get the same "Hmm, maybe I should read this" reaction.

Hope this helps!

pia / May 2, 2006 10:49 AM

With respect to the Apple one, the only benefit I get from buying local is that there are preservatives/wax in the grocery store bought apple, and none in the local one. Since so much of the copy below the apples concentrates on the travel time to get the fruit to the grocery store, I don't know what impact that has on me and my health. For example, does it pick up dirt along the way? Is it not as healthy to pick unripe fruit and then sell it days later? Things like that.
For the veggie one, I think the draw of the pictures is that the ones on the right just LOOK far fresher. Could you include some facts on the merits of eating fresh, organic veggies vs. prepackaged, stale ones? The price is interesting, but it's not what drives me to want to buy local.

janet / May 2, 2006 11:47 AM

Similar reactions to many others. The apple one is definitely punchier, especially with that tag-line Why eat the ugly apple? Perhaps the veggies could learn from that. Maybe a similarly ridiculous question: Why eat the vegetables in plastic bags. I don't know.
Also, the messages are a bit mixed and the logic isn't immediately apparent between grocery vs. farmers. For the apple, if you're going to talk about farmer's apple being better for you - less wax, more natural etc. - include more nutritional stuff. If you're talking about travel time, as you do in the facts section, translate that BACK into how it figures nutritionally or even pricewise. You lost me a bit on the facts section in the veggie one and the reasoning on the green section, as many have mentioned, doesn't quite follow. Bah, hope that helps.

Daisy / May 2, 2006 12:07 PM

Hm... I did get pretty lost in the facts section of the veggie one. I think it was too general, and it seemed to almost jump topics from the VS done for the veggies. And yes, an unusual line on top would catch my eye, though the pictures of veggies are already pretty eye-catching.

With the apple, the VS argument focused on the wax and preservatives, but briefly mentioned price. Maybe the price of the local apple could be used for comparison? :)

This is just coming off the top of my head, you understand. Hope it helps though. And the design's already going great, by the way.

ed / May 2, 2006 12:39 PM

i think the picture contrast in themselves grab enough attention for someone to take a closer look, and it immediately raises the presence of local produce. the facts dont seem to make good argument, but most people i think will just take in the information anyway and think those are good facts because...well, the pictures already dictate what kind of argument you're trying to make. =P

in terms of information, i wouldn't increase or decrease the amount of information that's there. but perhaps a better choice of facts? for example, 'freshness of local produce makes a healthier and tastier meal because...'. it might be worth considering the arguments of the competition, like organic and foreign produce. why are these products better? are these really better? etc =)

Cathy / May 2, 2006 12:51 PM

Me, again: In response to your second update I would say that in the case of posters "less is more". I guess the trick is to make it as informative as possible without going crazy on info. But I'm sure you already know this ;) I definatley think you're on the right track.

Heather H / May 2, 2006 3:25 PM

maybe I have a simple but I really felt the message across with the apples and veggies. I'm the daughter of a grape and cherry farmer in Washington state and small farmer's suffer greatly with everyone relying on imported cherries and grapes from China. Essentially we're almost paying the consumer to buy from us.
Keep up the good work!
P.S. robyn, could you send me two copies of those posters? I can pay for postage.

Andrea / May 2, 2006 3:52 PM

i think its effective. I read the whole poster before I went on to read that you needed comments about how effective the poster is. I am from Vermont, and I am a HUGE supporter of local agriculture. I think this does a great job.

Jennifer / May 2, 2006 4:24 PM

I would add more information. You say that farmer's market produce is healthier and better for the community at large. How? That's the question that I was asking myself (yes, I already know the answer) but some handy statistics on the subject might be good.

Susie / May 3, 2006 2:26 PM

As a (sometimes) highly paid copywriter, I must say your stabs are great! I prefer the ugly apple version.

An alternate headline for you: Fugly Food is Good Food

Or maybe a T-shirt on a woman where the shirt says I (heart) Fugly Food. And the back says "support local produce blah blah whatever"

Gerald / May 4, 2006 10:36 AM

I like the ads - bold, blunt, and to the point. The facts are good too, maybe include more resource information? Are these posters geographically targeted?

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