“Just slap the word 'natural' on it!'” crows the ad exec in a new mini-mockumentary about misleading claims of the word “natural” on foods. The four-minute video, “The Natural Effect,” was produced by Organic Voices, a new coalition of companies such as Stonyfield Farms, the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, and Rudi's Organic Bakery. So far, the video has racked up more than 1 million views:
“We are a group of folks devoted to telling the story of organic agriculture and food production with the hope of instilling the peace of mind that going organic gives,” according to the Organic Voices' website. “Our aim is to cultivate a better understanding of what being organic really means and the environmental and health benefits choosing organic provides.”
The star in “The Natural Effect” gloats about the selling power of the term “natural.” “We tried 'kinda natural,' but it just wasn't the same,” he says, retelling how his advertising geniuses and research team developed the “natural” campaign.
In response to another video released by Organic Voices in January, newhope360 editor Carlotta Mast discussed the pros and cons of attacking natural to support organic. In the meantime, views of the video across the the internet continue to climb.
According to research from The Hartman Group, consumers find “natural” vague and unappealing when used in marketing. Outside of marketing, however, the term is more meaningful to them than it was in 2010: To 56 percent of consumers, natural foods contain nothing artificial. They also consider natural foods that are pure (47 percent) and real (46 percent).