Here's the Most Weirdly Delightful Ad Yet for Plant-Based Meat

Also: epic cameo from a pan flute

"All your favorite foods are now plant-based!"

This is the proclamation that concludes "The Field," the latest work by Forsman & Bordenfors for food tech startup Peas of Heaven.

The Swedish firm, nestled in the artistic city of Gothenburg, uses high-tech protein-extraction methods on vegetable sources like green peas, combined with traditional cooking methods from the meat industry. The product portfolio includes hot dogs, burgers, bratwursts, chorizos and cabanossi (a type of smoked, spicy sausage), as well as fried goodies like nuggets, fish sticks, schnitzel and chili cheese. 

All are made of plants, but look (and ostensibly taste) just like the real thing.

In the ad, a man glides beatifically through a field, whose stalks are growing strange fruit indeed … like burger patties. One slips into his shirt pocket. A hot dog eases into his pants pocket. Toward the end, he rolls over and swims, his outstretched hands extracting what looks like a bunch of carrots, except they're sausages.

Peas of Heaven – The Field

He's then spat out of the field and onto a seat at a table. Wearing an uncomfortable smile, he shakes packaged plant-based meat products out of the sausages. A farmer, bearing triumphant witness, makes the closing statement. The farmer later reappears behind a tree, crouched and piping like a wild Pan in overalls.

"The Field" owes a sizable debt to Skittles' "Blank the Rainbow," a campaign that combined the nihilistically senseless with the vaguely uncomfortable. It also brings German home-improvement chain Hornbach's early work to mind (which featured a lot of men sliding ecstatically through the earth). Its objective is to provide an absurd contrast to the lofty, self-serious promises made by other companies in the market.

"From the start, Peas of Heaven's mission has been to make plant-based versions of all your favorite foods—and by doing so, contribute to a better and more sustainable future. But every food tech startup promises to make the world better," says Gustav Johansson, the brand's creative director.

"And it's pretty fun that the tools we use to create a better world are actually sausages, burgers and meatballs. That's why we decided to poke fun at the category—and ourselves—and make something totally different, something that also could inspire all the meat-eaters out there to try plant-based food."

Peas of Heaven was launched in 2019 by two brothers, who pivoted a family business into a food tech startup. Last year it received investment from Oyster Bay, building on a previous investment from Nicoya. 

Currently it is the category market leader in Sweden, and is growing elsewhere in the Nordics, including Denmark, Finland and Norway. This year it will expand elsewhere in Europe, with a U.S. launch on the horizon. 

"The Field," directed by Vedran Rupic—who won Cannes Lions 2019's Young Directors Showcase—leads its first brand campaign.

CREDITS

Advertising Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
Art Director: Karl Risenfors
Copywriter: Gustav Johansson
Account Manager: Ewa Edlund
Designer: Christoffer Persson
Planner: Maria Hallenborg
PR-strategist: Julia Samuelsson

Creative Director, Peas of Heaven Creative Dept.: Gustav Johansson
Art Director, Peas of Heaven Creative Dept.: Erik Friemann

Business Club Royale
Postproduction: Ulf Lundén
Media/PR agency: Kontext Media
Director: Vedran Rupic
Assistant Director: Gustav Sundström
Producer: Siamand Masoodian
Music: Gustav Jennefors
Exec producer: Christian Kuosmanen
D.O.P: Nico Poulsson
Editor: Alexander Toma

Original Sund: Erik Olsson, Redpipe

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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