Shrek Makes Kids Mad for Vidalia Onions

Posted on June 27, 2010

Photo of Shrek and Vidalia onions

So what do ogres and onions have in common? Well, as Shrek told us in the first movie, they both have layers. The Vidalia Onion Committee talked DreamWorks into allowing it to use Shrek's image in an ad campaign for the sweet onions and sales are up by 30-35% as kids demand their parents buy bags of onions with Shrek's picture on it. Moms report their kids getting as excited in the produce aisle as they used get in the candy aisle.

But DreamWorks was originally so nervous over the odd promotional opportunity that it demanded final cut over ad copy and even the names of the recipes created by chefs to showcase the delicious onions. It took one year for the onion growers to convince DreamWorks to sign off on the deal. But it all worked out great and now Shrek is associated with healthy eating.

Anne Globe, head of world-wide marketing at DreamWorks Animation, told the The Wall Street Journal, "There was a natural connection between their brand and our character, since onions were rooted in Shrek's personality from the first movie."

Can a picture of a cartoon character really make a kid want a root vegetable? You bet it can, according to this study which revealed that any food with a cartoon character on the packaging will be deemed tasty by children. That's great if companies are selling vidalia onions to kids, but not so great if they're selling fast food and candy.

Photo: Vidalia Onion Committee