What If We All Go Beyond (Meat)? Food Tech’s First TV Ad Stars Octavia Spencer Imagining A Slaughter-Free Future

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Beyond Meat recently broadcasted its first-ever TV commercial starring Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. Aired on Spectrum Sportsnet during the Lakers vs. Jazz game, the Hidden Figures actress asked viewers “what if?” and also featured a cameo from NFL player Todd Gurley. For the food tech giant, the point of the advert was to prove that its plant-based meat was an alternative for everyone, not just vegans or vegetarians. 

The El Segundo, California-based food tech’s first-ever TV commercial was voiced by actress and brand ambassador Octavia Spencer, who most recently starred in the Netflix series Self Made. In the advert, Spencer asks her audience to imagine a planet where animals are no longer slaughtered for food, where consumers could make a healthier and more sustainable choice

“What if we all go beyond?” she said in a statement. “I see the power of collective change happening all around us, and the future of our food is no different.” 

I see the power of collective change happening all around us, and the future of our food is no different. My health is the reason that I’ve started eating more plant-based meat, and Beyond Meat’s products taste so good, it made the transition a welcomed change. I can’t wait to share the experience I’ve had with more people and invite them to try going beyond, too.

Octavia Spencer
Beyond Meat’s First TV Advertisement

Todd Gurley, also a brand ambassador for Beyond Meat also featured in the commercial. The running back for the Atlanta Falcons’ appearance represented the number of athletes who have backed plant-based meat as a nutritious, high-protein alternative to fuel their fitness and performance – a movement that has taken the sports world by storm since the documentary The Game Changers covered the success stories of plant-based athletes

For the plant-based food tech’s chief marketing officer Stuart Kronauge, the commercial is all about inclusivity. 

It’s not about being preachy or judgmental,” she tells Fast Company. “We’re asking a question to define what we stand for as we want this movement to include everyone, wherever they are on their journey.”

Indeed, since Beyond Meat entered the scene, it has been one of the most recognisable brands to pave the way for the plant-based movement to hit the mainstream, much of it thanks to its strategy to convince meat-eaters to swap out a portion of their meat intake for its substitute rather than pushing for an abrupt withdrawal approach. 

It’s not about being preachy or judgmental. We’re asking a question to define what we stand for as we want this movement to include everyone, wherever they are on their journey.

Stuart Kronauge, Chief Marketing Officer at Beyond Meat

To that end, the company has partnered with some of the biggest fast food giants – including those famed for their meat-heavy menus – such as KFC, TGI Friday’s, Hardee’s, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and every Starbucks location in China. They’re also available direct-to-consumer through enormous retailers, with the likes of Walmart, Target and Safeway in the U.S. and even Hong Kong’s biggest supermarket chain Park n Shop on board. 

With consumers across the world now buying more plant-based products than ever before amidst the coronavirus pandemic, with some analysts predicting the industry could hit US$74.2 billion within the next 7 years, it looks like there’s good reason to be optimistic about whether we can “all go beyond”. 

Lead image courtesy of NASA / Aubrey Gemignani / Beyond Meat / designed by Green Queen Media. 

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