A very surreal, very funny approach to the usually predictable world of supermarket ads

Ever thought about your vegetables popping off for a spa day and enjoying a sauna? Us neither. But very creative studio indeed, Rotterdam-based Studio Mals has.

When the agency was tasked with creating some promotional short films for Holland’s biggest supermarket chain Albert Heijn, it took an approach that’s a far cry from the UK’s bum-patting, Kerry Katona, prawn ring Asda ads; or that weird M&S Food voiceover that sounds like it’s trying to coax you into bed.

Instead, the series of nine episodes takes a very playful and humorous approach indeed. The starting point for these was in the multifarious questions that surround food, such as “Should I peel my apples? Are insects a good alternative to meat?” says Studio Mals. “You might have wondered about these things yourself.”

While we’d love to say “wonder no more” at this point, we’re not sure these hilarious shorts answer these or not. What they do do, brilliantly, is create a surreal approach to thinking about food and food shopping.

One, for instance, features the aforementioned veg, cooking not in a saucepan or fancy steamer, but in a sauna (of course…) Another makes coffee cups into heroes. And one tackles an issue many have been debating for a while around the sustainability of food in the future in relation to the potential of using insects as a protein source rather than resource-intensive, gas-emitting farm animals like cows. This issue is embodied by huge crickets—which are weird and sort of cute, but possibly not a selling point for most when it comes to bush tucker trial-style dining.

Each of the nine episodes poses a different (pretty useful) question, such as Does cooking veggies destroy their vitamins?; Should I peel an apple?; Does the microwave ruin my food?; How many times may I reheat my food? and Does alcohol cook out?.

Studio Mals has also created a brilliantly insightful video about the process behind the project, which you can watch here.

Mals was founded by Silas Nout and Martin van der Molen and describes itself as “a creative studio with a big love for craft and imagery,” which certainly shines through in this project.

It adds, “Our work is very tangible, preferably handmade, and has a playful attitude to it…We’re meticulous crafters who cherish the details. We cultivate calm and go for distinctive aesthetics. The result is clever, playful and ridiculously sexy handcrafted eye candy!” Sexy insects? We’re not sure we’re ready for that.


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