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Alternative Meat Co. takes on MLA with launch of Australia Day ad

Alternative Meat Co. has released its Australia Day campaign, in an attempt to capitalise on Meat & Livestock Australia’s controversial ‘January’ lamb campaign and fire back at the notion that consuming meat is an intrinsically Australian activity.

Dave Hughes fronting Alternative Meat Co's Australia Day campaign

Dave Hughes fronting The Alternative Meat Co’s Australia Day campaign

Released today, the Facebook video from Sydney-based PR agency Poem, is fronted by comedian Dave Hughes and coincides with the release of MLA’s ‘January campaign’, which notably steers clear of any mention of ‘Australia Day’ and instead pokes fun at the First Fleet and the notion of “boat people”.

In contrast, Alternative Meat Co.’s campaign references Australia Day, but hits back at the idea that eating meat on the national holiday makes you more Australian.

The ad attempts to satirise earlier iterations of the Australia Day lamb campaign, which were fronted by Sam Kekovitch, and aims to capitalise on the increasing number of people in Australia looking to eat less meat, a statement from The Alternative Meat Co. said.

Hughes addresses Australia and answers the question: “Does eating meat make you more Australian?”

“It doesn’t need to moo for you to be true blue,” says Hughes in the video.

The ad also takes aim at hipsters, turmeric lattes and kale and notes that “some of Australia’s most ripped citizens enjoy a plant-based diet”, using Liam Hemsworth as an example.

Hughes concludes by encouraging Australians to chuck something veggo on the barbecue this Australia Day, assuring us of his credentials with “You know I’m right – I’m Dave Hughes”, before he quietly apologises with “Sorry Sam”.

The ad’s purpose however isn’t simply to convince people to become vegetarians, Dean Epps, general manager of Life Health Foods, the creators of the AMC brand, said.

“As Hughsey correctly references, our beef isn’t with those that eat meat. But every year around this time, we see campaigns that suggest skipping meat somehow makes you less Australian.

“It’s 2017 and our country has some of the most diverse food in the world available. Those one-sided, old-school ways of thinking about meat don’t really represent the views of modern Australians anymore.”

Rob Lowe, co-founder of Poem said the goal is for the campaign to tap into the ongoing national conversation about changing food trends and meat consumption, and give “a voice to the millions of Australians out there who are leading an increasingly more meat free, alternative diet”.

“The challenge we set ourselves was to create a campaign that would raise the debate in an engaging, shareable and significant way, whilst increasing awareness of The Alternative Meat Co.’s new innovative plant-based product.”

The video follows Poem’s brand launch video for The Alternative Meat Co. which features Hughsey disguised in a kebab shop, serving unsuspecting consumers a meat-free kebab. The launch video garnered more than 1.5 million views.

This is not the first time brands have used the Kekovich-fronted Australia Day campaigns as inspiration to promote alternatives other than lamb.

A pastiche featuring ‘Simon Kennovich’ appeared in 2010, which aimed to promote vegetarianism.

In the same year Lenard’s Chicken also ran an ‘Australia Day Lamb Scam EXPOSED’ video on YouTube.

In 2011 Con The Fruitier – a popular Comedy Company character from the 1990s played by actor Mark Mitchell –  fronted a campaign to declare Australia Day “Summer Stonefruit Day”.

Credits for The Alternative Meat Co. ad:

Client – Life Health Foods

Brand – Alterative Meat Co.

Creative, PR and social agency – Poem

Video production – Ideosphere

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