Ad of the Day: Lightlife

Animals are made of vegetables in ConAgra's animated spot for its meat alternatives

If Old McLightlife had a farm, all the pigs would be made of vegetables.

Lightlife, a ConAgra purveyor of meatless foods, launched this stop-motion animated online ad last week from Venables Bell & Partners imagining a fairy-tale plot of land where all the livestock have been replaced with versions of themselves constructed entirely out of edible flora. Set to a takeoff on "Old McDonald Had a Farm," the spot, directed by Kirk Kelley of Laika House, paints a picture of a place that, depending on the viewer's diet, will seem either like a form of heaven or of hell—an environmentally friendly, slaughterless paradise for vegetarians, or a torturous existential prison for meat lovers.

The visuals are delightful: a sunny cornucopia of cows built from peppers, carrots and mushrooms, pigs built from corn and asparagus, and hens sitting on beets instead of eggs. In perhaps the ad's most broadly and amusingly endearing moment, a confused chicken pulls her own neck off the chopping block as the singer chirps on about "no cruelty."

The rendition of the classic nursery song is charmingly enthusiastic but a little grating. Also, the lyrics aren't always as easy to make out as they probably should be. Still, they succeed in painting an overall picture of an earth-and-animal-loving ethos that's sure to resonate with the hard-core element of the brand's target, and alienate some of the people who would never buy its products anyway. It's certainly attention-grabbing, having already racked up more than 1.5 million YouTube views since Sept. 17, with the comments there so far bringing out trolls happy to rant from both sides of the meat-eating issue.

Regardless, it's safe to say Nick Offerman would not approve.

CREDITS

Client: ConAgra

Brand: Lightlife

Spot: "E-I-E-I-O"

Agency: Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco

Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness

Associate Creative Directors: Crockett Jeffers, Jonathan Byrne

Art Director: Beau Hanson

Copywriter: Josh Parschauer

Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen

Agency Producer: D.P. Odishoo

Production Company: Laika House

Director: Kirk Kelley

Director of Photography: John Nolan

Executive Producer: Lourri Hammack

Producer: Rebecca Bowen

Production Designer: Elizabeth Burhop

Stop-Motion Animators: Julianna Cox, Wendy Fuller, Chris Ohlgren

Character Designers: Don Flores, Gesine Kratzner, Tony Merrithew, Nicholas Weigel

Editor: Michael Corrigan

Flame Artist: Rex Carter

Sound Design: Mophonics

Sound Designers: Josh Marcy

Music: Mophonics

Executive Producer: Adam Podrat

Producer: Josh Marcy

Composer, Arranger: Michael Haziza