Crowd Shortcuts – a quick chat about something that’s caught our attention. This week, we're getting our teeth into cannibalism in culture and campaigns…
What’s all this then? Last year was a cultural smorgasbord in cannibalism with films, TV shows and books having an appetite for flesh. British Vogue even crowned cannibalism: “The Defining Cultural Trope of 2022”.
Hungry for more? Well, yes. Now cannibalism has been culturally accepted, the ad industry has begun to build it into campaigns. One particular success is using it to help sell fake meat products.
Huh? Yes, so cannibalism is winning awards.
Tell us all the gory details… Plant-based meat maker Oumph! won a silver prize at 2022 Cannes Lions Festival for its ad teasing a “human meat burger”. (No humans had actually been harmed).
Meanwhile, Liquid Death ran a special Halloween promotion for their Vegan Cannibal Steakhouse delivery service featuring New Yorkerless Strip Steak, Guiltless Grilled Rack of Sam, and Manless Meatballs in Marinara.
As LOLA MullenLowe, the agency behind the Oumph! campaign explained, it was a way to convince meat-lovers that plant-based products could replicate the taste of any meat – even human.
We hear cannibalism is also helping save the planet? Very much so.
Bit of a stretch? No, the ‘Eat a Swede’ satire presented eating human meat as an option should we fail to act on the impact of the climate crisis on food supply. The Swedish Food Federation campaign won a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lion Festival. Meanwhile, the “Ouroboros Steak” exhibit at London’s Design Museum imagined growing meat using our own cells and donated blood to also highlight the plight of the food industry…
Just to be clear then: Cannibalism no longer has us clutching our pearls? Yes, the cannibalism trope has been warmly embraced.
TL;DR: Nihilsm rocks 2023. Or as put by Chelsea G Summers, the writer of A Certain Hunger about a female cannibalistic serial killer: “Cannibalism is the need to nourish yourself in a depriving, neglectful world.”