Anyone who’s tried to take a good Instagram shot of poutine or chili knows that it’s a lost cause, because some foods are inherently, immutably fugly.
But here’s the great thing about stuff that goes in your mouth: It doesn’t need to look good to be good. And French supermarket chain Intermarché is underlining that point with their ingenious Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables ad campaign.
All photos: Ads of the World
Created by the Marcel agency, the video, radio and print campaign advocates on behalf of aesthetically imperfect produce that doesn’t make it to market, and contributes to the millions of tons of food wasted each year. As part of the campaign, Intermarché bought rejected (and therefore discounted) fruits and vegetables from suppliers, and displayed them in special aisles alongside glossy signage that glorified their hideousness.
The tongue-in-cheek posters combine humor with common sense, pointing out the absurdity and wastefulness of our shopping habits with lines like “The Ugly Carrot: In a soup who cares?” and “The Failed Lemon: From the creator of the lemon.”
The retailer also promoted the deformed produce by using it in specially labelled soups and juices, proving that oranges—like people—are all the same on the inside: delicious.
And it turns out shoppers are willing to forgive a potato’s Quasimodo-like appearance when it’s 30% cheaper than a beautiful spud (if such a thing even exists). Intermarché experienced a 24% increase in customer traffic, and each store moved an average of 1.2 tons of reject produce per day in the campaign’s first two days.