News > Brendan Gibbons > Applegate

Applegate Farms disturbing man-cows make the case for drug-free meat.

Watch the spots HERE.

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 musclebound 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.