Why The Internet Is Obsessed With Aldi UK's Kevin The Carrot

Every year around this time, brands look for new ways to get us in the Christmas mood, even though Thanksgiving has yet to take place, and this year is no exception. However, while some simply release special seasonal packaging and call it a day, there are brands that take the festive season seriously and work hard to give consumers a magical experience, and that's where Kevin the Carrot comes in (via Muse by Clio). He might look like a basic carrot character, but this Aldi original's short, animated adventures harken back to a tradition of stop-motion Christmas specials while also incorporating more modern pop culture tropes. The result is a fiercely loyal fanbase and a marketing marvel.

This year's adventure comes in two parts: first, a 90-second Top Gun-inspired teaser that left off on the thrilling cliffhanger of Kevin being ejected from his fighter jet by his turkey co-pilot. Luckily, another short saw him getting home in time for Christmas with his family, thanks to Harry the Hedgehog and Santa Claus himself (via The Independent). The basic storyline was improved by direct references to E.T. (Santa flies a wrapped-up Kevin home in the basket of a bicycle, with their silhouette even passing the Moon) and immediately recognizable musical references to Home Alone and The Pirates of the Carribean, all in just 90 seconds. The ad quickly reached over five million views on YouTube.

How fans reacted to this year's Kevin the Carrot merchandise

It's clear in watching these shorts just how much effort goes into Kevin the Carrot, as creative chief Dave Price attests (via Muse by Clio): "This year more than ever [...] has been challenging for everyone, so hitting the correct tone was more important than ever." However, the resulting popularity of the character has led to some surprising issues for Aldi. 

The release of Kevin the Carrot merchandise, which this year includes plushies, pajamas, wrapping paper, and mugs, created a shopping frenzy that caused Aldi to update their website with a queueing system and implement a two-plush toy limit per customer to attempt to control the projected traffic (via the Birmingham Mail). Even with these measures, however, the Kevin merchandise sold out in a matter of hours and quickly appeared on eBay with extortionate markups (via The Sun). Luckily, even fans who weren't able to get their hands on a plushie found ways to show their love for the carrot, with one even painting the whole cast on her face (via Twitter).