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By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

May 9, 2022 | 4 min read

In its latest push, Beyond Meat has tapped comedians Kevin Hart and Spank Horton to express the value of embracing change — through a montage of their fashion choices throughout the decades.

Plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat has teamed up with comedian Kevin Hart and his production firm Hartbeat to urge consumers to embrace a healthy change.

The hero film for the new campaign casts Hart as grillmaster at a backyard cookout. He serves up a burger to fellow comedian Spank Horton, noting that it’s plant-based. “When did we start eating plant-based foods at our cookout?” Horton asks. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid to try something new, Spank” Hart retorts.

Then, to illustrate Hart’s point that “change is good,” viewers are taken on a montage-style retrospective of cookouts of yore. Hart and Horton are pictured with 70s-style afros alongside bell-bottomed friends. “Most people won’t change what they think is a good tradition — even if it’s better for you,” Hart narrates, before the scene switches and the cookout is clad in colorful 80s-era windbreakers. Suddenly, Hart, Horton and their friends have donned denim overalls and flattop haircuts. All the while, the two comedians exchange slang expressions of the respective decades, from, “peace and a bottle of hair grease” to “you buggin’.” Hart explains that although change can feel uncomfortable because we feel connected to tradition, it’s important to make forward-looking changes that are better for both us and our planet.

“For this creative, we wanted to celebrate how through the decades everyone and everything changes — including the protein at your summer BBQ,” says Beth Moskowitz, chief brand officer at Beyond Meat. She notes that the company is excited to work with Hart, who she calls “one of our most passionate advocates.”

Hart has invested in Beyond Meat since 2019 and reportedly adheres to a primarily plant-based diet himself. “With Beyond Meat, I love that my family and I can enjoy all the foods we love — like grilled burgers in the backyard — but do so in a way that’s better for us without feeling like we’re sacrificing anything,” said the comedian in a statement today. “I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this summer grilling campaign to inspire more people to try Beyond Meat.”

The campaign was concepted, written and produced by Hart’s very own media company Hartbeat. The venture was formed last month when Hart consolidated his two two entertainment businesses, Hartbeat Productions and Laugh Out Loud under the umbrella of ‘Hartbeat.’ With the merger the company announced it had received a $100m investment from private equity firm Arby Partners.

“Combining Kevin’s genuine passion for helping people live better lives with Beyond Meat’s amazing plant-based products enabled us to create a really fun piece of content that feels truly authentic to who Kevin is and what he believes in,” said Harry Ratchford, head writer and producer at Hartbeat Productions.

The campaign launches at a pivotal moment in the industry: grocery store sales of plant-based animal product alternatives surged 27% from 2020 to 2021, per a report from Good Food Institute. Outside of grocery retailers, major restaurant chains have added plant-based meat options to their menus, making it easier for the average consumer to reduce their meat consumption (KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hut all have partnerships with Beyond Meat while Starbucks and Burger King work with competitor Impossible). The global plant-based meat market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.3% between 2022 and 2030, according to data published earlier this year by Grand View Research.

The new campaign launches today in honor of National Burger Month and ahead of the summer, when more consumers will be cooking out. “[We’re hoping] to inspire more people to ‘Go Beyond’ this grilling season with plant-based burgers and sausages that don’t compromise on taste, health or sustainability,” says Moskowitz.

The initiative will be activated across social, digital and connected TV.

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