wagamama & Uncommon Unleash Vegamama on the World to Launch Plant-Based Mission
New film inspired by Japanese anime genre ‘Kaiju’ meaning ‘strange beast’
To celebrate wagamama becoming the UK’s first high street restaurant to make 50% of its menu plant-based, Uncommon has launched a new campaign featuring a colossal rubber dinosaur who’s hungry for vengeance, angry at the state of our world.
Since opening in 1992, wagamama has championed positive eating and living, leading the way with more plant-based choices, like being the first UK casual dining brand to launch a vegan menu in 2017. Among other dishes, wagamama has pioneered vegan dishes such as Watermelon Tuna, Vegatsu Curry, and most recently the ‘Short Rib’ Ramen.
Eating less meat and dairy has been proven to be one of the most impactful actions we can all take to limit the effects of climate change; by eating more plants we can collectively make a big difference to the health of our planet.
wagamama believes eating more plants is key to the solution in helping our planet and that’s why this month, they’re launching a whole host of new plant-based dishes — giving plant-based dishes equal share on their menu.
Uncommon have marked the occasion with their first film work for the brand since announcing their creative partnership earlier in the year.
The new film centres around an unlikely protagonist, Vegamama — a rubber dinosaur on a mission to right our wrongs and help heal our planet. We open in present day, with the title card “Our Planet is Burning” as our camera flies over the outskirts of a city that’s seemingly polluted with both smog and noise. Suddenly, Vegamama rises dramatically through the tarmac of an abandoned carpark — she’s angry and wants her revenge on the world after all the harm we’ve caused.
We follow Vegamama on her vegan-righteous rampage before the film crescendos as Vegamama comically shoots off her bionic arm to explode an off-shore oil rig.
But all hope is not lost. Turns out, profound change is possible, but it starts with choices — big and small, to live more sustainably. We cut to a guy on the street, still eating ramen in front of a wagamama restaurant amidst the chaos. He calms Vegamama by telling her that he understands her anger, but that eating more plants is a powerful way to help our planet. Vegamama considers this for a moment, before shrugging an “OK!” in a sort of anti-climactic, agreeable fashion.
Vegamama gets up and dusts herself off, before taking a large chomp out of a nearby billboard, announcing wagamama’s brand new 50% plant-based menu. Vegamama slowly walks into the distance into the water, like she’s entirely lost interest in destroying humanity.
The film was directed by RiffRaff’s Vedran Rupic who meticulously crafted Vegamama’s presence to feel scary but cute all at the same time — in the style of Japanese film genre ‘Kaiju’. Rupic took influence from 50’s-70’s cinematography and saturated colour palettes to create a nostalgic feel in a modern world. The film is also set to the charmingly offbeat original composition by Gustav Jennefors titled ‘Vegamama’s Theme’.
After initial concepting in Photoshop, the Vegamama suit was modelled in 3D and clay, before being brought to life using foam, latex, and sophisticated animatronics, giving her the ability to move her face and eyes.
The body was sprayed with latex and sculpted foam to get the authentic Kaiju texture. After the whole body was assembled, Vegamama was meticulously spray-painted.
The studio’s first project for the restaurant chain: Kintsugi Benches — saw wagamama place its iconic Japanese benches in key cities as lockdown eased, serving up free cups of fresh Green Tea, and encouraging people to take a moment to sit at the bench and open-up with one another about how they are really feeling — mending what needs mending. The studio later went on to create the Daily Mail cited and eyebrow raising new product: The Katsu Smoothie.
The call to action is to ‘Eat the world you want to see’ — whether that’s finding a new go-to vegan side or choosing to eat meat-free for half the week. Ahead of the United Nation’s COP26 climate conference on 1st November, wagamama is also rewarding customers who pledge a small choice for big change by signing up to their Plant Pledge here.
The campaign will run on TV, Cinema, Online and Social and will be supported by OOH executions later in the year. Stay tuned.
Project Name: Vegamama
Creative Studio: Uncommon
Production Company: RiffRaff
Director: Vedran Rupic
Executive Producer: Tom Berendsen
Producer: Christian Kuosmanen
DOP: Nico Poulsson
Post-producer Henning Szpiro Eriksen
Colourist: Julien Alary
Editor: Elias Nilsson
Online editor: Stefan Ekman
VFX lead: Ulf Lunden
VFX artists: Magnus Jonsson, Emil Eriksson, Pär Olsson, Zafer Fanari, Håkan Ossiann, Anders Nyman, Viktor Johansson & Lars-Gunnar Thorell
VFX coordinator: Sofia Frennesson
Matte Painter: Pär Olovsson
Music: Gustav Jennefors
Sound design: Erik Olsson
Sound studio coordinator: Felicia Bjurefors
1st AD: Daniel Andersson
PM: John Horn
1st AC: Simon Mortensen
2nd AC: Alexander Toma
Gaffer: Luisa Fanciulliacci
Gaffer assistant: Per Anders Nilsson & Pierre Wernäng
Key grip: Sebastian Saury
DIT: Olof Bäckström
Production designer: Christian Olander
SFX: Niklas Hermansson, Simon Krümmel, Pernilla Fisher, Oskar Wallroth, Kicki Öman & Fia Reisek
VFX supervisor: Ulf Lunden
Post producer: Henning Lind Eriksen
Pyro technician: David Peter
Executive Producer: Sasha Bevko
Producer: Val Petyshkin
Production Manager: Vova Altsybeev
Unit Manager: Iegor Pogrebniak
Production Coordinator: Andrew Birch
1st AD: Masha Verboliuk
Production Designer: Max Halushka
Stylist: Dasha Filshina
MUA: Kate Maksimova
Casting On Set: Evgeniy Krivosheev & Yulia Tolkacheva
Food Stylist: Alexandra Gordeeva
1st AC: Sergey Kolesnik
Script Super: Maryoha
Gaffer: Vova Akulov
Key Grip: Artem Pilipchuk
Sound: Sergey Verdes
SFX: Olga Markova
Playback: Vitaliy Bear
Location Manager: Vitaliy Batyshchev