An Israeli ad about veganism is estimated to have reached one-third of the population. The ad aired during the season finale of “Survivor Israel” on Sunday night. The show is one of the most-watched series in the nation’s television history.
The commercial features a couple on a grocery run; when the man picks out frozen lamb, his partner stops him and says she wants it “extra fresh.”
The couple goes to the butcher counter to request fresh meat, where the clerk gives them a live lamb. The butcher asks: “Would you like it chopped or wrapped?”
A ‘Wider Public Discourse’
The voiceover says: “You’re not really surprised. More than a million Israelis have made the connection and stopped eating animals.”
The commercial then directs viewers to google “make the connection” for information on how to start a vegan diet.
“The Israeli audience saw on prime time, at the climactic moment of a reality show, the real source of the food it needs,” Omri Paz, founder and CEO of Vegan Friendly, said in a statement. He added that the advertisement aims to bring veganism “to the wider public discourse, and even influence many people to make a different choice when they approach the supermarket.”
Paz estimates that 35 percent of the population saw the commercial.
Commercials promoting veganism that reach mainstream audiences are rare, but they exist. Late last year, Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, aired a commercial promoting plant-based sausage that landed criticism from farmers. The 30-second advertisement depicted a young girl coming home from school. She then tells her father that she doesn’t “want to eat animals anymore.”
So, he makes a meal using the supermarket’s private label plant-based range instead.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmer’s Union, claimed that the commercial “demonizes” meat. But, it’s more likely that it depicts an increasingly common household dynamic; sales of meatless food are expected to reach £1.1 billion this year, according to a Mintel report, driven by the nation’s flexitarians.
The commercial by Vegan Friendly is reportedly the first pro-vegan commercial to air in Israel, where interest in the lifestyle is on the rise. According to Google Analytics data compiled by Chef’s Pencil, which shares recipes and industry trends, shows that Israel is one of the top three nations searching for information on veganism.