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Contribution

A celebration of imperfection

Fruit and veg have become size 8 models. They all look identical, they all glisten, radiate and scream "look at me, I'm perfect". Following generations of comfortability with mass produced identicalness, we've forgotten about the vibrancy and dynamism that comes when we don't conform to drone like standards and expectations. Every living thing is different, evolution create a beautiful mash-up of mutations and surprises. Too often, a vast volume of fruit and veg is simply discarded, because the producers think we're too dainty and petite to handle true natural difference and uniqueness in the products we buy. Let's embrace fruit and veg with character, we have become scared of difference. Let's open our minds and cherish the unconventionals!

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Be afraid, be very afraid.

(I propose a marketing plan to raise the awareness around this issue, de-stigmatise difference using the example of how we now celebrate people, who come in all shapes and sizes. Let's cut to the core of the production, supply chain issues responsible for this waste, and force change)

BUILDS FROM YOUR GREAT COMMENTS BELOW:
1 - Merchandising, next to the glamour mags!
Strategically position our merchandising next to the glamour magazines. Talk to the bigger issue of the pressure for perfection and difference being aligned to inadequacy. Take on the glamour and celebrity brands that exacerbate this, change opinions by grabbing attention when it matters.

2 - Spoof glamour mag - "perfection" = ordinary
Why not go one step further and create a magazine, in the style of Vogue/Glamour, where we seductively present our misshapen specimins, in alluring lighting, sensual poses, looking positively ravishing! Then juxtapose against "perfect" specimins, dully lit, high angle shots - looking distinctively ordinary

UPDATE - Why only merchandise next to the glamour mags in the retail environment? Why not also beauty salons... Beauty salons are not only environments where attendees spend a long time waiting around, but are also riddled with promotional materials that directly oppose what we're trying to achieve! 
This makes them perfect channels for tongue-in-cheek information leaflets/posters and even call-to-actions for 'most unique produce' competitions! Also, great places to really play up the human/fruit parallels. (great build Anuja)

3 - Tongue in cheek social media campaign
Create buzz online, short videos, funny stories where we show a down-at-heel "perfect" strawberry chatting to camera about how things used to be, flicking through the 'strawberry seeking..' personal ads, maybe online dating - but to no avail. Then cut to a fantastically veluctuous strawberry fending off handsome suiters, and saying "I'm not a piece of meat! Leave me alone" - I.e. the parameters of attractiveness have been completely re-defined  

4 - Target kids - change habits for life
Tap into natural childhood curiosity through initiatives in schools, create a child friendly brand etc - teach the bigger lessons about life and not being scared to be themselves and that unique is beautiful + brave - but through the touch point of fruit! Get kids to own the campaign, design the logo, create the mascot, run the website, vote on strategic direction. If they own the campaign, the deeper issues behind it will really begin to mean something to them.

--- UPDATE ---

BREAKING DOWN THE RESTAURANT BARRIER:

Phase 1 – Passionate celebrity involvement

Engage a celebrity to fight the good fight! Innovative to the point of being scientific, Heston Blumenthal could be a prime candidate. 

Empower him to lead a social media campaign on our behalf, coupled with mentions on TV talk shows, and even demonstrations of cooking “unconventional” specimens in his own cooking show - then running blindfold tests revealing the identicality of taste between visually “perfect” and “imperfect” ingredients.

Phase 2 – Avant guard restaurant to lead by example

Use this same celebrity advocate, and in this case Heston Blumenthal’s three Mitchelin starred restaurant, The Fat Duck - to publically demonstrate that restaurants need to change their approach to visual “imperfection” in their ingredients.

Whether as a one off publicity stunt, where only visually “imperfect” ingredients are used, and their taste value proven, or a blindfold test between visually “perfect” and “imperfect” specimens, this would be sure to grab attention.

Perhaps this could go even further. Could this restaurant promote a zero tolerance policy for visual discrimination? Demanding their suppliers follow suit, providing the visually “imperfect” ingredients, as and when they naturally appear.

To give the surrounding communications an impact quality, could we even play on the parallels with historical racial discrimination?

Mohammed Ali was unable to get served in high end US restaurants because of his ethnicity. We’ve stamped out discrimination in people, why should we stop there? Visual discrimination in all its manifestations is wrong and should be eliminated.

Concept builds

I've have tried to organically build updates into my concept explanation, but further builds will be entered here... Comment away and let's build it further!

What actions would need to be taken to turn this idea into a reality?

1 - Find a partner (Oliver / Blumenthal)
2 - Find a sponsor (Tesco / Birdseye)
3 - Launch a multi-channel dual toned awareness campaign (detail above)

Tone A - tongue in cheek
- In supermarket merchandising of mishapen fruit and surrounding comms
- Spoof glamour mag, with the glamour mags / ads in other glamour mags (benefits of supermarket sponsor providing prime access to most effective communication positions)
-Social media, viral videos, funny, edgy

Tone B -Genuine and caring, but fun
-Thorough promotion and re-education campaign for children in schools around equality in food and in each other

Who might make a good partner for this project?

Celebrity chefs (Jamie Oliver + Heston Blumenthal)

Leaders who are not afraid to ask the difficult questions, with the charisma to mobilise the masses. Both of these individuals fit the bill.

What suggestions would you have for potential sources of funding for the development of this project?

This idea and corresponding campaign could resonate deeply with the very moral fiber of our cultures. An opportunity to become aligned with equality and re-framing our archaic definition of perfection is one many companies would pay for...

From Tesco to BirdsEye, any value driven food company would benefit from becoming THE company to tackle discrimination in food, as a metaphor for society.

UPDATE: LOUDSAUCE 'crowdfunded media buying for ideas that matter'

The campaign could be partially funded by sponsorship, partly through LoudSauce.

LoudSauce allows people to club together to fund causes they believe in. Our sponsor could fund the creative advertising cost, unless we could partner with an ad agency and ask them to work pro-bono for CSR PR.

Then, as the campaign comes to life and gains a following, turn to LoudSauce and ask our followers to keep pushing the message through many, many tiny media buying donations. It sounds like a big ask, for people to fund advertising, I know. But check out some examples below... It seems to work:

http://www.loudsauce.com/

Virtual team

The following people have helped develop my initial idea beyond its original scope, and I am very grateful to you all.

Cory Quach
Colin Cather
Krassimira Lordanova
Veronika
Diego Gonzales Carvallo
Cathy Tang
Ronan Harrington
Kirk Soderstrom

And many, many more...

Evaluation results

31 evaluations so far

1. How effectively do you think that this concept reconnects food consumers and producers?

It would reconnect food consumers and producers strongly - 41.9%

It would somewhat reconnect food consumers and producers  - 35.5%

It would not significantly reconnect food consumers and producers  - 22.6%

2. How scalable is this idea across communities and geographies?

This concept can be scaled across many communities  - 64.5%

This concept will take a fair bit of work to build and scale - 19.4%

This concept is not particularly scalable  - 16.1%

3. How quickly could this concept be impactful? 

This concept could happen today - 32.3%

This concept could happen soon with some work - 58.1%

I struggle to see this happening in a reasonable timeframe - 9.7%

4. How original is this concept?

This concept is extremely original - 64.5%

This concept has some original aspects - 32.3%

This concept already exists - 3.2%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

This concept rocked my world – it’s brilliant - 45.2%

I liked this concept but preferred others - 35.5%

This concept didn’t get me overly excited - 19.4%

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Congratulations to all our contributors!

105 comments

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Hi David - I saw the following and it reminded me of your idea - it's incredibly close:

French supermarket chain Intermarche launched this promotional campaign to help reduce food waste of "undesirable" fruits and vegetables. Rather than throw out ugly, deformed, or damaged produce, Intermarche instead sells them with a unique twist.

http://www.wimp.com/allsupermarkets/

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