Meatless Farm's TV ad is packed full of F-words

Channel 4 took seven-figure stake in brand last year.

Meat-alternative company Meatless Farm has launched a TV campaign in which the name of the brand acts as a stand-in for an expletive.

Created in-house, “M*** f***” follows the staff of a fictional competing brand as they try out Meatless Farm’s plant-based goods.

According to Dieter, a German-sounding member of the team, the brand’s sausages taste “just like Bratwurst", leading the team to spiral into a stressed frenzy. 

The ad launches today (Monday) alongside print and radio activity. It follows out-of-home ads launched earlier in August featuring foodie characters – including 70-year-old “Granny Annie” – with the tagline: “Now that’s a m*** f*** burger.”

The work will run on Channel 4 – which took a seven-figure stake in the plant-based brand last year – throughout August and September. It was created by Thom Hanreich through Gaggle.

According to the brand, Meatless Farm has boasted 179% growth year on year, with more than a third of Brits claiming to have eaten plant-based meat alternatives during lockdown.

“This isn't about trying to offend anyone – what we're trying to do is get people to go meat free once a week,” Michael Hunter, chief growth officer at Meatless Farm, said.

“It's a jovial campaign and we want to put some smiles on people's faces during what has been a gloomy time.” 

The campaign also features a dozen branded electric cars that are set to drive through London, in light of research from the brand that found if every UK household swapped one meal per week to plant-based, it would lead to an 8.4% reduction in greenhouse gases – equivalent to taking 16 million cars off the road. 

According to Hunter, food stylist turned billboard star Annie served as an ideal way for the brand to engage with an older audience.

He added: “Annie's super-cool and she really emphasises the fact that we're for everybody – it's not just for young hipsters or other audiences."

Meatless Farm is the second brand in the past 12 months to allude to the phrase "motherfucker" in an outdoor ad campaign. BrewDog ran the campaign "Sober as a motherfu", created by Uncommon Creative Studio, for alcohol-free beer Punk AF in November 2019. The work was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority the following month.

In January, after BT ran ads in Bristol advising residents not to "settle for Virgin", its rival hit back by parking mobile billboards in front of the ads featuring the large text "B******T" – which, as well as BT, could be read as "bullshit", or "BornFast", which is Virgin Media's campaign slogan.

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