Demoting the 'plant' in plant-based burgers
16:13

Demoting the 'plant' in plant-based burgers

Tech Industry
Well plant based meats have a certain headline around them plant base. That's the first thing that captures consumers attention so far and yet these products want to be seen more as meat, not necessarily with the headline of plant. It's part of an arc of their evolution that they know is essential to get to true mainstream acceptance. Now what. [MUSIC] Jessie Becker is gonna have some ideas. She is Senior VP of Marketing at Impossible Foods, the folks for the Impossible burger and more, and they've just launched a new ad campaign that Normally, I don't cover ad campaigns. Every company's got new ones all the time. But this one's interesting because it goes right after the essential question, not just for that company, but for the whole sector. And that is how do they position plant based something rather as meat. It's been the core issue around trying to make this settle in for its future expansion that many believe Liable for it. So Jesse First of all, before we watch some of these new spots that you put out, tell me why meat is the central issue around the campaign. Traditionally, we've done that by making it through an animal through Through having cows eat plants, and then we turn the cows into meat. Now we just take the plants and make them into meat. So I think what we're trying to do is to say that what needs to change is not the people who need to Switch to plant based meat though they do, what we need to do is change the definition of what meat is. And meat doesn't have to come from the animal meat can come from plants also, you've carved out no small project there you're having to overcome, sent either centuries or millennia depending on how you wanna look at it. Human behavior and perception and I guess somewhere back in our lizard brain certain responses and perceptions we have of our food. This is one of the great technology marketing tasks of history, isn't it? The thing that makes our brains think that something is meat is taste. That's the thing that we have to believe when we taste it. We chew it and it feels like me. That's all we need to know. And that's what impossible is done is taken something and made it with new technology made from plants and made it in a way that your brain tastes it and says, My gosh, I can't believe this is meat I've been craving. So our brains Can change we just need to see what a new product is and that's what we're here to do with impossible. We know once you taste this product you're gonna be like, of course I would eat this. This is absolutely me, but when you see the labels and you haven't tasted it yet we have to get you're excited about that taste and wants to try Let's take a look at the first one. This one is called Yes We Do Trying to say beef is bad for the planet [MUSIC] But do we really care what those nerds have to say? Yes, we do, impossibly meat made from plants. Okay, so that one is going straight after what to me, watching that as a consumer, I see that going after the total Gonzo market. I mean, here we are with a 12 paddy or whatever that was. Have a little play on do we care about this? And that is, what's Who's that speaking to? It's exactly the people are like, yeah, I want to eat that And who are these people telling me that I can't have this of course I can. And yet, we're telling you, you can And you can also take care of the planet at the same time. So this particular spot is unusual from all the others. It's the only of the set, which really gives a nod to that sense that made from plants is important for the planet. It's not the primary point that we're trying to make with consumers in this campaign. What we want them to see is that This is amazing, delicious meat, and I want to eat that might I, it's so delicious. I practically want to lick the screen. And it's made from plants, then we can talk to them about all the other things that impossible enables for the planet for your health, for all those other things that we know are important. You But if you don't believe it's going to taste good, none of that matters. And you worked with the firm Wyden Kennedy on these, which is a great, great ad agency, great creative firm. And I'm picking up little traces and I don't offhand know what other campaigns they've done in the burger category. But I think little traces of Carl's Jr with the dripping sauce on the bikini models and I'm picking up some of the really kind of I'll be honest kind of Mike macho straight ahead. burger advertising of the past. It's a you're really it sounds like you're trying to really break out of what people think a plant based burger Who it's meant for. We are tapping into what you expect from a burger ad, we want to tap into everything that makes you think this is the delicious meat that I find everywhere I buy meat. And you do that with those things that you're picking up on the, The you know, over the top, burger after burger dripping this cheese, the sounds the voice. Everything is meant to tap into that and then end with made from plants and that's that's the we talked about it as new meat in old meats clothing. Let's go to the next one. This one is called meet places. Let's take a look. You will find this me wherever you'd buy me. Like the meat aisle, meat shop, meat store. So many meat places impossible meat made from cotton. Plant. Okay, so what we just saw there doesn't speak necessarily to the product it speaks to where you find it. Why was that so important? 90% of Americans are within 10 miles of an impossible burger. And so and yet It's so new that we need to tell them this is something you can find in your grocery store. So we absolutely are trying to tell you that this is not a specialty product. This is not an unusual product. It's super easy to find. And we're closing with a picture of the meat so you know what it looks like you know where what colors to look for when you're in the store. So even though you're this latest push is very much about saying your product is meat. There needs to be something about where it's located that reinforces that message, right? Traditionally people have thought of plant based as living off in its own world. And that's exactly the point we're pushing on is, this is me. It lives with me in the middle everywhere you would look for me. What we think is fun about that ad is that It sounds kind of ridiculous to say, Well of course you find me in the meat dial, or like, right, that's the point where me so you find us in the meat dial. As you say you put it in the meat section today, but a lot of the products that are in the protein alternative or meat alternative, they end up in that weird cold case with the probiotic crowd and all that stuff and. You clearly didn't want to be there. Even though the people initially seeking meat alternatives. That's where they were. And yet you went to where they weren't and seemed to find a steeper, steeper Hill>> and that's because it impossible what we care about is getting. People to switch from eating animal meat to eating plant based meat. And the way that happens is by putting your product where people are used to finding the product they are looking for. So we are meat we are plant based meat. We think that happens to be better than animal meat but. But the way we want to do that is to talk to people who already eat meat and ask them to consider this new thing. If you put it in the protein section, I'm confident that the people who eat it would find it delicious. But that's not who we're trying to talk to. We're trying to talk to the people who eat animal meat today. And who we would like to switch to plant-based meat. We really have two things we're trying to accomplish as a company one, of course is to get people to buy our product, but the true purpose of the company, the reason we want people to buy our product is because When you eat animal meat, it's very, very destructive to the planet. So when you think about planet change, and I'm going off and you know, this isn't actually what we want consumers to think about when they look at impossible, right off the bat, we want them to be thinking about what they're eating. But what we're really trying to accomplish is we're trying to help climate change. And one of the biggest drivers of climate change today is the use of animals as an agriculture tool is the use of animals to make meat. So what we do care about is getting people to love and eat our product, but But the people who most need to do that are the ones who are eating animal meat today.>>You were describing that that whole scenario you're describing that scenario just now, I could see that essential sort of tension that you guys I think have to embrace as a company which is there's a really great story here about the big future that we're driving toward but We actually just want to draw your eye over here. It's me It's delicious. Just eat it. Yeah, it's kind of hard sometimes to balance the Do we have an environmental message Are we just selling a tasty product because that That doesn't always match up together with every consumer. Right It does match up if you first talk about taste. So what we've learned is that if you get people excited about the taste, then they're very open to hearing about all the other benefits that it brings and why they should make it part of their daily life If you start talking about the planet as a problem, we need to change our habits, then it feels like a takeaway, and no one wants to change their habits, the things that they enjoy. And our point is you don't have to change The things you enjoy to also help the planet and so what we're doing with this campaign is going straight where we need them to understand first which is, This is delicious. I don't see any compromise whatsoever and switching my Ground beef made from animals to ground beef made from plants from impossible. There is no compromise and once I know that that is not a taste compromise, then the fact that it is made from plants and there are some nutrition benefits for myself. It's better for the planet. That's a bonus. It's not a takeaway. It's a bonus. So it's all about the order in which people hear that message. It's not that people don't want to do things that are better for the planet, but they want to do it in ways that are good for them. And I believe that's what we have to do for consumers is give them things that you They're things that they want in and of itself, without thinking about what it also does for the planet and then that becomes the bonus. Yeah, which you choose as your front door is kind of a kind of makes for a different a different story. Okay, let's watch the last of your three new spots. This one's called we love meatsuit I can what I can glean from this here we go. We love meat. Red meat Cook meat, Bubbly meat. Meat with cheese on it, more meat with cheese on it. Meat being peeped up by a spatula with cheese on it. Meat with cheese on it on a bun with a bun on top. On a plate impossible meat made from plants. That was a straightforward essence of your of your story. That's the one that's called we love meat and it just keeps saying a kind of the same thing over and over. what's what's the idea there. Well, this was such a fun one because when we came into we knew what we wanted it to look like visually, and it's just about showing the flexibility. It looks just like The meat you know how to cook you put it on the grill, and it starts out as red. It starts turning brown, you bring it over, it's got this delicious look and you get it into your burger you're ready to eat. It's all the things that you're like, Yeah, what's different about this and you've got so the script we thought we were going to put on top when we actually started playing with it. We thought, you know what? We just want to talk about what you're seeing because that's we want to get your senses fully engaged in what's going on. This is delicious. You can hear the sizzle, but you can't smell the meat. You can't touch the meat, you're not actually gonna be able to eat the burger. So we just want to keep describing for you what this is and tap into every sense That this is gonna be delicious meat and show it and then flip into the you know, okay, and it's made from plants. Interesting. Where is that? How do I find that? We know that in the physical world if we can get a piece of impossible burger into your mouth, you're going to love it and you're going to want to try more. Now we're trying to do that On a TV screen on your phone, wherever it is that you're watching this, but we can't reach through the screen and give you a bite of that burger. We're doing our best to do it directly on the screen. Among other things that you've done here that I'm seeing in your toolbox, you made an interesting choice for your voiceover artists. Typically with a high tech modern product, whether it's a phone or anything else you tend to choose you being corporate America would tend to choose, kind of a soft, smooth almost Most of public radio sounding millennial age voice, that's kind of where a lot of the VO trends have gone. You guys went straight ahead at what? To me is Montana rancher as the voice in these, what was the reason behind choosing. That kind of a, of a rustic and sounding to me, a little bit older to be honest, and very sorta kind of a he-man character. That's how people feel about their meat. It feels like something that it's tradition. It's something that is very part of our culture, and something that we care a lot about and You don't want to mess with what works. And so that's actually part of bringing that whole experience to life. It's, it includes the voice that comes with it we wanna tap into everything that you believe about me and then show you that it can come from meat made from plants as well. Let's talk about the length on these we saw two fifteens and a 30. Those could go obviously fifteens work well on internet 30s at least. When I'm happy about how 30s are used, they're not used as Internet pre rolls. They feel I prefer to see those go out on to television or streaming TV? Where are you going to be distributing these? Maybe I've missed it. But are these going to be your first broadcast and cable ads? It's our first national campaign, absolutely. We have done some video before but it's always been small regional spaces and that's and that's really been because the distribution Wasn't ready to talk about it at a national level. We're now at a place where we're in over 20,000 grocery stores. We're in 30,000 restaurants nationwide you can find impossible everywhere. So it makes sense for us to run a national campaign. Okay, so I just want to wrap up now with, to finish, to talk about what you guys are up against. You're still in a David versus Goliath role in the industry, there's no two ways about it. [LAUGH] And the traditional meats of different types as well as dairy have long had the support of something called the Federal Checkoff Program, or something, where there is a certain amount of collaborative Shared funds that are used to create the campaigns we know like beef, it's what's for dinner. The Incredible Edible egg Got Milk. I think I'm leaving out a couple of them. Those are juggernauts that have become those have become taglines in American culture. And again with with a huge funding pot behind them, and here you are one company kind of trying to go up against that legacy and size of budget. How do you begin to not eat not even chip away but just try to be seen against that in the American psyche? Well, I think it's what we're doing right now, which is, we've built a product that we know stands up in consumers minds when consumers taste it and experience it and understand it. They're all in. And we're all about letting the consumer choose. So if that's true, then we're gonna have the business to support the kind of awareness building that you're talking about. I think we also benefit from an incredible amount of word of mouth and excitement about what we're doing and we certainly hope to tap into that. But we absolutely know that we're at a tiny piece of the market today. But we think that when you see us 5-10 years from now, this is going to be the obvious default choice. And we'll be saying, remember when we used to eat meat made from animals that was weird. Jesse Becker is Senior VP of Marketing at impossible foods.

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