Vegans take to Twitter to bash carmakers Hyundai following controversial Super Bowl commercial
Vegans have taken offence at the Hyundai commercial that aired during last night's Super Bowl, with many plant-based eaters taking to Twitter to express their displeasure.
With several prominent plant eaters as well as PETA getting involved, the source of their ire was a commercial which took aim at the vegan diet, branding the idea of a "vegan dinner party" as an unpleasant experience.
The commercial, which features Arrested Development and Ozark star Jason Bateman, takes place in an elevator that takes each of its passengers to an unpleasant experience. Alongside going for root canals and shopping for a car, the commercial pokes fun at vegan dinner parties, complete with "beetloaf".
Barney Goldberg, executive creative director at Innocean (who created the commercial), explained the idea behind the joke, explaining that the casting of Jason Bateman was "very intentional". “We started thinking about all those things you have to do but hate to do or have to do but would love to avoid,” Goldberg explained.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) took exception to the vegan joke, however, replying on Twitter by endorsing a vegan Smartcar from Hyundai's competitors, Mercedes.
"Instead of buying a car from people with outdated ideas, we suggest a vegan Smartcar by Mercedes. Great mileage & acceleration, turns on a dime," one of the tweets in response to the ad - posted on Twitter last week - said.
When the commercial aired during the Super Bowl, other vegans took to Twitter to express their displeasure at how they were treated by the ad. "Nice anti vegan ad Hyundai, I will never buy your cars," tweeted one, while another accused the carmakers of making a "cheap joke".
"I make some really great vegan dinner food. But I’d never invite you anyway. Good job perpetuating the myth vegan food is bad. People could offset your products’ carbon footprint by going vegan. But you got a cheap joke in."
The backlash was not limited to social media, either - one person took to Facebook to complain about the advertisement: "Hyundai's Superbowl ad should not have made fun of vegan food - it is the one diet that can help our health, help the planet & help the environment."
But while they're facing some backlash, Hyundai are choosing to make amends by actually creating a recipe for the "beetloaf" referenced in the ad. "We actually love vegan food and are glad it's going more mainstream," the carmakers said on Twitter, before adding: "Beetloaf has gotten a bad rap. We made it better with this amazing recipe that you and your tastebuds will love."
Meanwhile, a rep for the company reiterated that the carmakers have no problem with vegans, or veganism as a whole. "We totally respect veganism and are happy that it is mainstream. We also hope that vegans have a sense of humor just like dentists, parents, judges and flight attendants, the others stops represented on 'the elevator,'" they said.