Kevin Mclendon
Kevin Mclendon
July 16, 2014
All Eyes On: Super Sprowtz

What do you do when you realize that 33% of American children aren’t getting the daily nutrition they need to grow into strong, healthy adults? If you’re Radha Agrawal, you fix it.

After hearing this disheartening statistic in 2011, Radha Agrawal launched a health-conscious kid’s lifestyle brand she named Super Sprowtz. Driven by a mission to help every child in America learn about nutrition and wellness, the “Sprowtz” brand created a compelling model that is both educational and engaging for the whole family.

Teaching children across the nation to eat their peas and carrots is no easy task. To help kids fall in love with good food, Radha and her team of health aficionados knew they needed to create a powerful narrative that children would embrace and love, similar to how Sesame Street won the hearts of families in the 90’s.

Several years of research and product development later, Radha created a band of adorable vegetable puppet characters called Sprowtz to lead her healthy crusade across the nation. These super-powered veggie characters quickly took on a larger-than-life persona, helping launch Super Sprowtz into the nation’s fastest-growing nutrition brand in under two years. A recent flurry of media attention spiked their reach to over a million families last year, aided in part by an official endorsement from First Lady Michelle Obama and a show at the White House, a national bus tour, prominent features at dozens of festivals and schools across the country, and a handful of celebrity endorsements including basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, hip hop magnate Russell Simmons, celeb-chef Todd English and star comedic actors like Ethan Suplee and Aasif Mandvi, to name a few. Best of all, Super Sprowtz is championing a cause that parents everywhere are deeply passionate about, and it’s helping change the way we communicate healthy food conversations with our kids.

While laying the groundwork for the brand’s proof-of-concept, Super Sprowtz approached Telegraph about helping them scale their message, take their image to the next level and launch a powerful online platform to facilitate and serve their growing community. Both being recent parents themselves, this was a cause our own CEO Kevin McLendon and CCO Isaiah Same were personally passionate about seeing grow and thrive. To accomplish a vision of this magnitude, the Telegraph team launched into an intensive eight-month exploratory journey with Super Sprowtz, from consulting on the education model and message to helping to influence the design of every facet of the brand; from the look and feel of the iconic veggie character packaging to print and online marketing, collateral materials, a new interactive website and even backdrops for the White House show with Michelle Obama and life-size props for the Life is Beautiful Las Vegas festival exhibit. The Telegraph team became full-fledged brand ambassadors and advocates, a role we naturally fill with our clients going well beyond being a trusted design and technology partner.

Working closely with Super Sprowtz CEO Radha Agrawal, our team of uber-talented designers, illustrators and developers, steered by Isaiah, ensured that the company’s healthy vision was baked into every single one of their massive suite of brand assets.

Tasked as the lead designer on the project, Jin Chung shares her thoughts on crafting the adorable, inviting and memorable Sprowtz visuals that you see plastered across the nation on tour buses, puppet packaging, kid’s kitchenware and everything you can imagine in between.

JIN'S INSIGHT: GRAPHIC DESIGNER

I’m most proud of just being able to work with a client as big as Super Sprowtz. They have such potential and I’m happy to say that I was a big part of their movement to fight childhood obesity.

The biggest challenge was creating graphics for such a wide variety of brand applications. I’m still pretty new to designing real-world physical pieces, so I was a little out of my comfort zone when designing for bus wraps, product tags, and so many other different items. It was difficult to make sure things such as the bus wrap were correctly prepared to send to the client. However, in the end it was worth all the trouble to see my design on a bus!

While designing for Super Sprowtz, I kept in mind some keywords: bright, loud, friendly, happy, and fun. This is a kids’ product, so I wanted to make sure kids would find the design appealing to them, but stay accessible to parents as well. Another thing I kept in mind while designing was to highlight the puppets. Before our rebrand, most of the Super Sprowtz puppets were not even used in any of their graphics. I wanted to put them front and center in everything we did because they really are the face and selling point of the brand.

It really helps that the client truly believes in changing children’s diets. Most of what inspired me throughout working with Super Sprowtz is the honesty and nobility of the cause. - Jin

SAM'S INSIGHT: WEB DEVELOPER

My favorite part about the new website we built is the custom, kid-centric approach. Many websites take the short, easy route. While the ambitiousness of the site design was at times challenging to execute, the attention to detail is incredible, and it makes the website experience all the more enjoyable for children and parents alike.

We did a lot of research into how most parents of young children access media and games for their children. This led us to some deep-rooted understanding of the times of day and online habits of most parents, which revealed that they access the website mostly on-the-go via their smartphones and tablets. Thus, we engineered the website itself to be fully accessible on all screen sizes using the same code as the desktop site experience. We spent almost as much time on this responsiveness for smaller screen sizes as we did for desktop resolutions. Utilizing clever style tricks and helpful css libraries enabled us to made sure tiny screens enjoy the same content and experience as their larger counterpart.

What I like most from a developer standpoint is that through clever code, I can make something that some kids view as boring or gross (vegetables!) fun and entertaining. With a simple hex-color tag and a little script that makes navigation elements wiggle, I can help influence a child into making healthier food choices and make veggies interesting and fun. Win win in my book. -Sam

Working with a company with as big of a vision and cause like Super Sprowtz is no simple task, but it’s the perfect kind of partnership for us here at Telegraph. We admire the work Radha and her team is doing because it takes a commitment to be brave when other brands are taking the easy road, and the willingness to start sometimes uncomfortable conversations with parents about healthy eating. Along the way, the Sprowtz have helped us pick up some healthier eating habits, which in turn has enabled us to come up with some killer designs and creative strategies that are supercharging Super Sprowtz’ growth! We’re honored to use our design, marketing and brand-building experience to help take an amazing brand like Super Sprowtz to the national level. Now, don’t forget to #eatyoursuperpowers!