Is it or Isn’t it? Meatless Meatballs Cause Confusion in Subway’s new Veganuary Campaign from Above+Beyond

Veganuary 2020 is set to be a record-breaking month for meat-free eating, and Subway wants its customers to know that there’s a Meatball Marinara to suit everyone’s taste. 

The new Meatless Meatball Marinara Sub launches at the same time as the new decade, with a campaign by Above+Beyond celebrating the freedom that non meat-eaters will now have to enjoy one of the restaurant’s best-selling recipes. 

A new 360 campaign, “Equally Delicious”, compares the great taste of the new meat-free version with that of the original and iconic meatball sub. The TVC, “The Taste Test Balls Up”, revolves around a real tasting event where the Meatless Meatball Marinara is handed out to a large group of meat-free customers. However, as it is such a close replica, there is some confusion about which one they might be eating, and tension builds within the audience. 

The film was shot as part commercial, part live TV. Rather than scripting the tasting event and having it played out by actors, it was done for real, and directed by Sam Cadman, co-creator of Channel 4 series Trigger Happy TV. Three launch events, attended by unsuspecting people, captured their reactions as their ‘host’ got slightly confused about the product, and which one they might be eating. 

Al Gounder, Marketing Director at Subway, said: “Less than 1% of the UK identifies as vegan, so this campaign addresses the 42% who call themselves flexitarians, without excluding the 88% who identify as meat eaters. We’ve done something fresh and slightly anarchic that will disrupt all the ‘me too’ conversation in Veganuary and put the Meatless Meatball Marinara firmly on the map.” 

David Billing, Chief Creative Officer at Above+Beyond, said: “We could have done this as a scripted ad, but we wanted to capture and feature genuine reactions. Doing it ‘for real’ with Sam, who alongside Dom Joly reinvented the TV prank genre for a whole generation, was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. You simply can’t predict what’s going to happen each time, and you definitely can’t simulate the kind of reaction that a real audience will have when things have seemingly gone horribly, horribly wrong.”

The campaign will run for six weeks across TV, print, radio, OOH, digital, social, POP and cinema, with media by MediaCom, and PR and social by Good Relations. 

Source: Above+Beyond

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