PETA Christmas ad 2023 ft. Jane Horrocks

TV Commercial Review

Heart or Humor


The style is impactful

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is known for its provocative and thought-provoking advertisements, especially during the Christmas season. Their ads often challenge traditional views and practices regarding animal treatment, urging viewers to consider more compassionate and ethical choices.

This year’s PETA Christmas advert, featuring the voice of Jane Horrocks, introduces viewers to Tessa, a young turkey who is initially seen enjoying Christmas customs. However, the ad turns dark as Tessa is sent to an abattoir, highlighting the grim reality millions of turkeys face. The ad, created by House 337, ends with a powerful message: “Let’s kill the tradition, not the turkey,” advocating for a vegan Christmas meal.

  • Memorable: 90/100 – The stark contrast in the ad’s tone makes it highly memorable.
  • Effective: 88/100 – Effectively conveys its message, though it might be intense for some viewers.
  • Style: 75/100 – The style is impactful but may not appeal to all due to its graphic nature.
  • Heart/Humor: 60/100 – While it starts light-hearted, the ad quickly becomes serious.
  • Execution: 85/100 – Well-executed with a clear, impactful narrative and strong voice acting.
A 2023 Christmas ad featuring an owl standing in front of a house.
PETA’s powerful Christmas message: Choose compassion over tradition.
  • Strong, clear message advocating for animal rights and veganism.
  • Jane Horrocks’ voice acting adds a personal and emotional touch.
  • The ad is likely to spark conversations and awareness about animal cruelty.
  • The graphic content may be disturbing for some viewers.
  • The stark shift in tone might detract from the initial light-heartedness.

The ad collaborates with House 337, featuring Jane Horrocks as Tessa’s voice. The music and tone shift dramatically to highlight the serious message. Horrocks’ quote, “I hope the spot encourages kind souls everywhere to explore vegan dishes,” encapsulates the ad’s intent.

PETA Christmas commercial
PETA’s ad with Jane Horrocks this Christmas asks us to rethink traditions.

The recent advertisement by PETA has sparked a diverse range of reactions on social media, reflecting the complex and often polarized views on animal rights and dietary choices. This analysis delves into the various comments to understand the public sentiment and effectiveness of the campaign, drawing comparisons with other notable advertising efforts in similar domains.

1. Addressing Tradition vs. Modern Values

Commenter @Danielst-djfh raises a critical point about the ad’s approach to tradition. The phrase “kill the tradition” seems to target a broader cultural practice rather than focusing on the specific issue of turkey consumption. This approach can be contrasted with campaigns that successfully address traditions without alienating those who cherish them. For instance, certain environmental campaigns have effectively encouraged sustainable practices while respecting cultural values, thus gaining broader acceptance.

2. The Role of Trolling and Opposition

@graemehancocks and @jessecobb’s comments highlight the inevitable presence of trolling in social media campaigns. While some opposition is expected, the nature of the responses can sometimes overshadow the campaign’s message. This is reminiscent of the backlash faced by Gillette’s “The Best Men Can Be” campaign, where the focus shifted to the controversy rather than the intended message of positive masculinity.

3. Vegetarianism and Natural Order Arguments

@nikolaytrifonov’s comment represents a common argument against vegetarianism, likening human dietary choices to the natural predatory behavior of animals like lions. This perspective is often countered in campaigns by emphasizing the ethical and health benefits of plant-based diets, as seen in Beyond Meat’s advertisements, which focus on the positive aspects of vegetarianism rather than directly attacking meat consumption.

4. Provoking Thought vs. Provoking Appetite

Interestingly, @jessecobb mentions that the ad made them hungry for turkey, indicating a potential backfire effect. This reaction is crucial for advertisers to consider. A similar phenomenon was observed in anti-smoking campaigns, where some ads inadvertently triggered smoking cravings among viewers. The key is to craft a message that provokes thought without eliciting the opposite of the intended reaction.

5. Cultural Sensitivity and Hypocrisy Accusations

@giljos touches on the sensitive topic of cultural practices and hypocrisy. This is a delicate area for advertisers, as seen in the criticism faced by some brands for selective activism or ignorance of certain cultural practices. Successful campaigns often navigate this by being inclusive and respectful of diverse traditions while promoting their message.

6. Target Audience and Long-term Strategy

@vforvendetta and @gillybert’s comments suggest focusing on younger generations as the primary audience for change. This strategy has been effectively employed in various campaigns, such as anti-bullying and environmental conservation, focusing on educating and influencing future generations for long-term impact.

Like many in social and ethical issues, PETA’s advertisement has elicited a wide range of responses. The key takeaway for advertisers in this domain is balancing respect for traditions and cultural practices with promoting new ideas and values. Drawing lessons from successful campaigns in similar areas can help craft thought-provoking, respectful messages and achieve their goals more effectively.



The ad quickly becomes serious

Heart or Humor6.0
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