The blocker replaces junk food ads with humorous gifs of vegetables, aiming to encourage people to think about their food choices
Spotted: Health experts agree that junk food advertising is bad for our general health. In fact, recent research estimated that in 2019 children under the age of 16 in the UK were exposed to 15 billion junk food adverts online, a steep rise from 700 million online ads in 2017. In response, the UK is poised to enact a total ban on online junk food advertising. But sustainable food company Simple Feast is not waiting for similar bans to reach other countries, and have instead unveiled an ad blocker that takes aim at highly-processed, unhealthy food.
The blocker replaces all ads with humorous gifs of vegetables. The idea is to encourage people to think about the food choices they make and the role that junk food advertising plays in those choices. Simple Feast points to research that shows that images of junk food stay with consumers long after the ads are gone – influencing their buying choices and eating habits.
While many ad bodies oppose the UK’s plan to ban online junk food ads, this one, which is designed by creative agency Another Copenhagen, does demonstrate that there is plenty of scope for creative options.
Simple Feast told Springwise that what makes this ad blocker different is the “humoristic approach to a rather serious issue.” The company adds: “If we can make an avocado-boat make someone reflect on the types of food they usually see in online ads and perhaps realize how unbalanced the division between ads of sustainable vs unsustainable food is, then we have succeeded.”
It’s not only online fast-food ads that can have a big effect on consumer behaviour: research has shown that 92 per cent of Instagram users say they’ve followed a brand, clicked on their website, or made a purchase after seeing an ad on the platform. More than ever before, social media is all about advertising. There are many innovations aiming to help with this, including an ad blocker that steers people to a bank savings site and a plugin that blocks ads from unsustainable brands.
Written By: Lisa Magloff