Beginning on Nov. 11 and lasting through Nov. 19, the nutrition department, partnered with The Volunteer Channel (the UT student television station), will be getting UT Fruved. The Fruved campaign is a social marketing promotion targeting the young adults of UT.
According to the flyer for the campaign, “The primary goal of this campaign will be to improve healthy behaviors including increasing fruit, vegetable, whole grain, low-fat dairy consumption and physical activity and decreasing saturated fat and sugar intake among young adults.”
Throughout the week there will be many events happening around campus, some spontaneous and others planned. The heaviest intervention days will be Nov. 12-18.
“The campaign will start with a ‘teaser’ week the week prior (Nov. 7-11) just to spark interest in the campus community,” Katelyn Parker, head of the project, said. “Most of the interventions are unplanned (to the public) and will happen sporadically, relying on actors dressed as fruit and vegetable characters, and exercising guerrilla marketing and theater techniques.”
Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional form of marketing that relies on the imagination and involvement of the surrounding environment. The point of this surprising approach is to catch people’s attention.
There will be people around campus dressed as a banana, grapes, spinach, carrot and tomato making surprise visits at several locations. Surprise visits can occur in any of the dining halls, bus stops, residence halls, etc. There will also be spontaneous classroom visits, radio drop-bys and TV appearances.
“We are using students dressed as fruits and vegetables to advertise and increase awareness of fruits and vegetables by interacting with other students,” Parker said.
During the surprise visits from the characters of the Fruved campaign, students will be filmed caught doing a healthy act, for which they will be praised, or they will be caught doing something unhealthy, in which case they will be advised on better options and things they can do to make a better lifestyle for themselves.
“Ultimately, it is our goal to create a buzz about the campaign through interaction and word of mouth. The more ridiculous, the better,” Parker said.
As part of the pre-screening for the event, there will be a BMI event (gathering weights and heights) at Hess Hall on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
As far as more exciting events go, there will be a dance-off on the Pedestrian Mall on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Each fruit/vegetable team will be dancing to a specific song, such as “Moves Like Jagger” or “Forget You.” However, there will be word substitutions in the song in order to make it more Fruved.
Tuesday at 1 p.m., there will be a sing-off on the Pedestrian Mall. These songs will also be Fruved.
The biggest event planned is on Friday at the Presidential Court Building at noon. There will be a flash mob with everyone involved in the campaign. The campaign directors hope to get the dance team involved in the flash mob in order to draw attention.
“We are hoping to be able to meet up with the dance team (or some of the members) for the flash mob and the dance-off,” director Sarah Colby said.
All in all, the campaign is designed to educate and interest students in eating healthier and making healthier decisions for their life.