If aliens have been patiently waiting to take over Earth, they’re plenty hacked off about the environmental damage being done on a daily basis. What kind of world are humans leaving them?
That’s one of the cheeky questions behind a just-launched campaign from plant-based startup WhatIF Foods. Using a whimsical scenario to tackle a serious subject, the brand enlists little green beings from space—along with dinosaurs, flying cows and zombies—to formally introduce itself to the U.S. market.
The animated ads, from agency of record fable.works, lean into WhatIF’s superfood-centric recipe and regenerative farming process, aiming to educate consumers about the origins of its milk alternative and instant noodles.
The approach is a departure in the category, where much of the marketing in recent years has focused on products’ flavor profiles, with the goal of convincing shoppers that plant-based products taste as good as animal-derived food.
“Aliens becoming regenerative farming advocates so that they’ll have a nicer planet to absorb into their galaxial takeover felt more interesting than ‘planet-friendly,’” Rick Williams, the agency’s co-founder, told Adweek. The creative also speaks to the brand’s mission to “constantly improve, listen, research and innovate.”
Playful with a cause
The upbeat tone, “fun color palette” and cute characters are meant to be eye-catching but not flippant, agency creatives said.
“In the age of doomscrolling, who wants to hear more bad news?” Marcel Yunes, agency co-founder, told Adweek. “WhatIF is such a band of optimists, the playfulness just felt natural even in the face of a myriad of global concerns.”
Fable.works won the account in summer 2022 and partnered with animation house LOBO and the music-special effects team at Human Worldwide to produce the work under the tagline “A Better Better.” In addition to the anthem spot, there are several 15-second vignettes, with additional ads via social, out of home and truck wraps.
With voiceover from WhatIF’s top exec, the campaign highlights the company’s BamNut Milk, which debuts in a space full of entrenched non-dairy competitors like Oatly, Silk, So Delicious and Califia Farms, to name a few.
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