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She’s a single mom who’s down on her luck. He’s a competitive eater who’s searching for love. What happens when fate brings them together in an ad for Impossible Foods?
It’s a meat cute … get it?
Inspired by the cheesy Hallmark movie cannon and wrapped in a heaping helping of dad jokes, Impossible drops its latest campaign called “Wiener Wonderland.”
In addition to providing a sneak peek of a new product—the plant-based brand’s first hot dog—the work debuts a rom-com trailer that takes its cues from wildly popular cable TV flicks. And to stretch out the purposely corny joke, Impossible has kicked off “12 Days of Holidogs,” a content series that leads up to a full day of product sampling in New York on Dec. 16.
“We started batting the idea of a wiener wonderland around as a joke,” Leslie Sims, the brand’s chief marketing and creative officer, told Adweek. “Because the season is about more of everything—and being completely over the top—we just embraced it.”
Targeting new demos
“12 Days of Holidogs” arrives at least a month before consumers will be able to buy the new hot dogs, with the Silicon Valley-based startup experimenting with the teaser ad concept to help stoke demand.
The campaign’s populist style and tone continue the brand’s attempt to reach beyond the loyalists and break into new demos, per Sims.
“We’re trying to broaden our message out, talk to flexitarians and get more into the mindset of meat eaters,” Sims said.
Impossible’s CEO Peter McGuinness, speaking at Adweek X in Los Angeles this week, said marketing in the category has suffered from “elitism” and “wokeness” that turned off much of the American public.
“We have to almost reboot Impossible and reboot the category,” he said, noting that “it’s a marketing conundrum” in how to best communicate product benefits like zero cholesterol, lower saturated fat and high protein.
The privately held company, which has reported sales increases even as plant-based meat has suffered double-digit sales declines, is focused on increasing its 15% unaided awareness and convincing omnivores to try its soy-based beef, chicken and pork substitutes.
‘Frankly in Love’
“12 Days of Holidogs” and “Wiener Wonderland” come from Impossible’s in-house marketing and creative teams, with collaborators at Avalon, the production arm of agency Argonaut, and director Lee Einhorn. The movie trailer continues a well-worn trope in advertising that has seen brands ranging from Walmart to the U.K.’s National Lottery co-opting the romcom format.