PETA festive campaign urges people to stop killing turkeys

The campaign from House 337 stars Jane Horrocks as a singing turkey calling for new Christmas traditions

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


A new festive campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) highlights the cruelty of the tradition of killing turkeys at Christmas and encourages audiences to try vegan.

The campaign, which was created by creative agency House 337, stars Tessa, a singing Turkey pointing out the absurdity in Christmas traditions. While most of the strange traditions are harmless, the film builds up to the cruel tradition of killing turkeys with Tessa as the victim.

The film appears innocent and whimsical at first, with Tessa the Turkey, voiced by actor Jane Horrocks, making her way through a quaint Christmas town observing families at Christmas time. Tessa sings a version of ‘Deck the Halls’ with the lyrics changed to point out the Christmas traditions she observes such as families in matching pyjamas and houses decorated by lights. Yet these traditions take a sinister turn when Tessa finds herself at the centre, being sent off to slaughter to star as the turkey dinner. The film ends by inviting people to “Kill the tradition, not a turkey. Try vegan this Christmas”.

The campaign follows on from the success of PETA’s “Red River Farm”, which was released in spring to highlight the cruelty of using animal-derived materials in fashion. The campaigns follow a similar structure, beginning innocent and fun, then taking a sinister turn to maximise on the gut-wrenching cruelty of killing animals. The Christmas campaign aims to spotlight the absurdity of tradition and encourage people to think before blindly engaging in traditions just because they are traditions. The campaigns aim to encourage people to think twice about their current behaviours and think about the alternatives.

“Our aim is to get people thinking, shake up the status quo, and change hearts and habits, and this video, brought to life by the creative people at House 337, does just that. Tradition doesn’t excuse cruelty, and we’re sure that this touching spot will encourage viewers to think about who is on their plate – and inspire them to leave turkeys and other animals off the table this Christmas.” says Elisa Allen, PETA VP of Programs and Operations.

The campaign launches in cinemas in December and will also feature cut-down versions spread across PETA’s social media channels as well as supporting influencer and PR activations.

Through carefully crafted animation and powerful storytelling, PETA stops audiences in their tracks and forces self-reflection this Christmas.

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