“It’s not a crime to eat meat”— the recent TMall ad declares. As long as the meat is plant-based. Released at the end of June, a detective story in stop-animation inspired by “Internal Affairs” movie starts with dinner. At the table, set in mafia-vibe surroundings, the cheerful toasting of five characters to the common goal of making humans fat is interrupted. When the big boss accuses one of his guests of being a mole, fake meat, fingers start pointing and each character lists reason they can’t be the traitor: high protein content, real taste, popularity among gym-goers. A folder containing cholesterol tests arrives, and so does an unexpected twist: all four are not the “real meat”.
This entertaining and visually engaging film, meticulously realized by 德悦映画Studio is a creative way to capture the audience.The Beijing-based production house, specializing in creative storytelling, has an impressive record of creating engaging solutions for their clients mainly using high level quality of stop motion animation. This time, their animation for Tmall was so well-done, that it left some netizens mistaking the ad for a non-commercial animation, according to comments on Weibo.
With this commercial, TMall not only wittily introduces four mock meat brands— Future Meat, SoyFit, Haobashi, Shanke Chuanqi, but also gently plants the idea of benefits their products bring. Even though TIMA, the agency behind the spot, went with a safer direction of “help-ing to lose weight” messaging of the commercial, without tapping into bigger reasons why people quit meat, the spot signals a trend which the e-commerce giant becomes a part of. That is a trend of meatless revolution, which according to the World Economic, China is leading with its ‘mock meat’.
Though the consumption of ‘mock meat’ in China can be traced centuries back due to the influence of Buddhism, it may seem like a new craze because mainstream players got in the game. Responding to increasing demand of plant-based meat, this year KFC trialed fake chicken nuggets, while 4000+ of Starbucks stores across China started serving Beyond Meat and Omnipork plant-based alternatives. Part of the GOOD GOOD movement, the meatless dishes on the menu show the coffee chain’s commitment to food that is “good for you, the planet, animals and your tastebuds”.
中国食用“素肉”的习惯由来已久，受佛教影响，人们早在几千年前就开始食用素斋。近年来，由于主流大众开始参与到“植物肉”产业，“植物肉”突然仿佛全新的概念一般，变成了潮流。为了抓住植物肉的迅速升温的需求，肯德基今年开始测试推出上校素鸡块，全中国超4000家星巴克开始提供人造肉Beyond Meat和香港植物肉Omnipork的选项；响应GOOD GOOD运动，星巴克的餐单表示他们坚持提供“对你，地球，动物和你的味蕾都好”的食物。
Flavor, which is also heavily highlighted in the TMall commercial, is a strong factor in convincing people to switch to meat substitutes. Realistically, China’s goal to reduce meat consumption 50% by 2030 is attainable if plant-based alternatives are tasty and convenient enough to win over all the consumers, not just vegetarians. Currently, the 43.6% consumption growth of plant-based meat is still mostly driven by wealthier tier-one cities— Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. While reports from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization show no signs of nationwide meat consumption decline, on the contrary: by 2026, an average Chinese citizen is expected to consume 55 kilos of meat per year, 10% more compared with 2017.
That is to say, maybe a large-scale “meatless revolution” has yet to come, but the popularization of plant-based brands should not be discounted in this battle. A strong product, combined with a strategically planned promotion has the power to shape consumption habits, and Tmall’s humorous storytelling might go a long way…
图片及幕后花絮视频来源于博鸡俱乐部公众号 Pictures and behind the scenes video courtesy of TIMA Reference 参考： https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/how-the-seeds-of-a-meatless-revolution-are-taking-root-in-China https://www.chinausfocus.com/energy-environment/embracing-plant-based-meat-in-the-chinese-market https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tomorrow-china_starbucks-rolls-out-plant-based-options-at-activity-6658317012869177344-mUlO https://www.China-briefing.com/news/is-a-meatless-meat-revolution-really-underway-in-China/ https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-10-12/charts-of-the-day-chinas-growing-meat-consumption-101334433.html
Director 导演：Tomy 宣逸
Stop-motion director 定格动画导演：宋悦
Art Director 美术指导：林宇瀚
Stop- animator 定格动画师：耿小伟、梁雪
Music 音乐：B.E Mix