Ad of the Day: Applegate Farms

Disturbing man cows make the case for drug-free meat

Moms—if you're worried the cow that you'll serve this summer might be a junkie, Applegate Farms is the beef for you.

So says the purveyor of organic and natural packaged foods in a new campaign, "What's in your hot dog?" created by agency Taxi to drive summer sales ahead of July 4. The central theme of the series: Men in bovine costumes getting grilled, job-interview-style, on their drug histories, by mothers concerned about keeping medicated meat off their kids' plates. In one spot, "Mooscles," a muscle-bound bodybuilder cow vacantly denies using growth hormones while a woman balks at the needle sticking out of what she identifies as his "haunch." In a second, an obsessive-compulsive nerd cow awkwardly savors the thought of his daily antibiotics shot. And in the third—maybe the funniest—a wasted raver cow barely notices as the front door slams in his face after he babbles about his love for pharmaceuticals.

Sure, it's a little weird to anthropomorphize animals bound for the dinner table in ads meant to peddle meat, rather than, say, vegetarianism. But the scripts manage to stay amusing while conveying a clear selling point for the product, and the acting is on point. Perhaps so much so, that the campaign doubles as an anti-drug PSA.

Kids, consider yourselves warned, too.


Client: Applegate
Agency: Taxi, New York
Executive Creative Director: Dave Clemans
Creative Directdor: Michael Pierantozzi
Copywriters: Michael Pierantozzi, Tim Wassler
Art Director: Philip Cho
Producer: Joyce Lee
Director: Brendan Gibbons
Production Company: Station Film
Managing Partner: Stephen Orent
Executive Producer: Thomas Rossano
Line Producer: Brienna Price
Director of Photography: Matthew Woolf
Editorial: Cutting Room Films
Editor: Brian Sanford
Editorial Producer: Melissa Lubin
Assistant Editor: Guillermo Rivero
Colorist: Natalie Wollman
Visual Effects Producer: Barry Gilbert
Online Editor: Josh Williams
Sound Mixer: Walter Bianco