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13 August 2018

An outsider's eye.

by Jason Stone

Impossible Foods: “The Return” - 1 min 38s

As you might surmise from their name, Impossible Foods have a rather ambitious mission statement - they want to develop plant-based meat products which are so good that they completely replace the need for animal-based meat products by 2035. Having identified meat production as the most significant factor in the damage humans are wreaking upon the environment, founder Patrick O Brown determined that the best way of saving the planet was to provide an alternative that consumers would prefer.

Studying meat at the molecular level, Brown and his team of boffins figured out what gives meat its texture and its taste, and then used similar parts of plants to create a chemical library of proteins and fats. They then experimented with them until they had created an alternative which meat-eaters could enjoy as much as the product derived from animals.

Their flagship offering is the Impossible Burger, which has been adopted by a number of key restaurants including Brad Farmerie's Michelin-starred PUBLIC.

A large-scale operation is now being constructed in California which will enable the production of a million pounds of plant-based burger meat each month which lead to much greater availability of this product.

The high cost of research and development to ensure their offer is a genuine match for animal-based products has meant it's been vital to have a communication strategy that's as forward-thinking as the products themselves and in March 2018, Impossible hired Sasha Markova - formerly a global creative director at Mother to be their ECD. She has ramped up their publicity, and is behind this film - the company's first piece of conventional advertising which concentrates on poignant imagery at the expense of detail.

Object & Animal's Nick Walker has delivered a paean to Earth's beauty as seen through the eyes of a man returning from space. The image of a fully-suited astronaut traversing a familiar landscape is so striking that it's not surprising that it's been used before... but seldom to such great effect and never for such an important mission.

The way the astronaut identifies everyday beauty in the city streets is a clever conceit. It would have been obvious and a bit hackneyed to place him in areas of outstanding natural beauty but to witness his wonderment at a weed growing in the pavement carries a lot more power - and must have helped to keep the budget manageable too.

The absence of any explicit information means the audience will need to investigate further but that's plainly a deliberate calculation and part of an overall strategy designed to ensure everyone knows about Impossible's mission before too long.

Film Production: Object & Animal Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Nick Walker Ⓦ
Executive Producer: James Cunningham / Dom Thomas
Cinematographer: Danny Hiele / Michael Stine
Editing: Work Ⓟ Ⓦ
VFX: Electric Theatre Collective Ⓟ Ⓦ
Grade: Electric Theatre Collective Ⓟ Ⓦ

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.