Utilizing a space exploration metaphor to drive its point home, Impossible Foods’ mission is to venture into our world as an astronaut would on a new planet – with eyes wide open – but rather than search for alien life, in this case the mission is to find better, more sustainable ways to feed ourselves.
Impossible Foods, creator of the plant-based Impossible Burger, has launched its first brand mission campaign to coincide with the release of its annual Sustainability Report.
The campaign centers around a film called The Return, which tells the story of an astronaut returning to Earth and roaming around with a fresh set of eyes, appreciating every small detail of the planet, much like the first astronauts on the Moon. We see the space-suited man roaming through a neighborhood, taking in the plant life growing from a crack in the asphalt. He is amazed by a praying mantis, the colors of a street stand selling fresh fruit juices, the beauty of a pigeon’s eyes and more everyday things humans may take for granted.
“It looks like a living, breathing organism,” says the voice through the space helmet to an unseen mission control. “I’ve dreamed of this planet for so long…this is paradise,” he says, walking through the forest before removing his visor and breathing in fresh, clean air.
It ends with the line that the Impossible Foods’ mission is for Earth, not Mars, and reflects the company’s drive to fight for our planet by finding better, more sustainable food sources.
The film will be backed by experiential elements, like wandering astronauts in New York, who look to reintroduce people to the wonders of the world, along with a heavy social drive. The campaign is the first production of the Impossible Foods in-house creative department led by executive creative director Sasha Markova and creative director Giselle Guerrerro. It was directed by Nick Walker, a Nicki Minaj/FKA Twigs music promo director. The voice of the astronaut belongs to Fatlip from The Pharcyde.
The short film premiered at an event for the release of the Impossible Foods 2018 Impact Report, which summarizes the company’s substantial progress in sustainability developments, as well as the commitments that Impossible Foods is making to fix the food system and meet rising demand for meat in new and better ways.
The event included a panel discussion featuring Pat Brown, founder and chief executive of Impossible Foods, alongside former governor and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman, director of Center of Sustainable Development Columbia Jeffrey Sachs and author Jonathan Safran Foer.
In the report, titled ‘Mission: Earth,’ highlights the company’s successes (the Impossible Burger is now available in 3,000 locations in the US, Hong Kong and Macao, and growing rapidly) to its challenges (understanding how plant-based foods benefit the planet and actually taste good).
The 52-page report is full of statistics, including charting its efforts to become a zero waste producer, to how much water and what produce it uses (including explaining what its heme – soy root – is to consumers). Impossible Foods states it wants to be “the most transparent food company in the world” and even includes notes on its safety, public health and open access to records.
“As we grow, so does our commitment to sustainability at all levels of our business. From supply chain engagement to sustainable packaging, from empowering our employees and customers to zero waste in manufacturing – we’re putting stakes in the ground and setting targets. But our true impact will be in greenhouse-gas emissions prevented, in land and water spared, in ecosystems and wildlife protected and restored, in food security strengthened and in communities served through our success in replacing the world’s least sustainable technology,” stated Brown in the introduction to the report.
The new campaign and report helps solidify Impossible’s push to be an innovator in sustainable foods, and the people on the inside of the company wholly believe in what they are doing.
“We want to be a spirit of something. You’re part of something when you’re in the Impossible world. You’re part of this energy around this thing,” said Markova in an interview with The Drum earlier this year.