Plant-based company Impossible Foods unveiled a new ad campaign to promote its mission to remove all animal products from the food industry by 2035. The company launched a 90-second video ad—which will appear on platforms such as YouTube, Hulu, and Instagram—that features an astronaut who returns to an Earth that has been restored to what he calls “paradise,” presumably after animal agriculture has disappeared from the food industry. The video concludes with a statement from Impossible Foods that it is on a mission, “not to Mars.” Impossible Foods launched its plant-based Impossible Burger in 2016, and has since expanded its distribution to nearly 3,000 points of distribution, including major fast-food chain White Castle. However, during a 2017 press briefing, CEO Patrick O. Brown stressed that Impossible Foods is not merely a burger company. “We want to completely replace animals as a food production technology by 2035,” Brown said. “We are working on producing all foods that we get from animals.”
Impossible Foods voluntarily tested its “heme” (a novel ingredient crucial to the meat-like attributes of the Impossible Burger) on rats to obtain FDA approval, a step Brown explained in a statement last year. “Nobody is more committed or working harder to eliminate exploitation of animals than Impossible Foods,” Brown said. “Avoiding the dilemma was not an option. We hope we will never have to face such a choice again, but choosing the option that advances the greater good is more important to us than ideological purity.” To further its mission of replacing animal products with plants, the company plans to increase production of its Impossible Burger to 500,000 plant-based patties per month by scaling its capacity at its current Oakland-based facility and opening a second production center in the coming months.
In conjunction with the new ad, three “astronauts” were deployed in New York City to promote the company’s mission of eliminating animals from the food system. “Patrick Brown is the first CEO of a company that’s ever said to me, ‘Don’t put the product in this [ad],’” Impossible Foods Executive Creative Director Sasha Markova told Marketing Dive. “The point of the film is not to get people to buy a burger, but to join the mission.”