Animal rights group PETA launches first Christmas ad to encourage people not to eat ‘gentle, gracious and spirited’ turkeys
- Vegan charity PETA’s created its first Christmas advert which will run in cinemas
- Cartoon ad shows turkey help her baby Toby escape from abattoir-bound lorry
- Instead of being killed and eaten, he becomes a beloved companion animal
- Ad ends saying ‘peace begins at home’ encouraging viewers to have vegan Xmas
PETA has created its first Christmas advert which it says could persuade viewers to ditch their turkey dinners this year.
The commercial, which will air in cinemas across the UK from November 25, boasts a heartwarming storyline featuring baby turkey Toby.
It starts by showing an abattoir-bound lorry packed with the animals. In a nod to turkeys’ reputations as excellent mothers, Toby’s mother orchestrates his escape, pushing him out of the truck.
As the tiny bird is flung from the moving vehicle, he lands on the road, and watches his mother and the others as they are driven away to their deaths.
Then a car drives up and stops in front of Toby, and a woman picks him up, before taking him home.
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Vegan charity PETA has created its first Christmas advert (pictured) a non-graphic animated commercial which tells the story of Toby the Turkey
The advert shows Toby’s mother orchestrating his escape from the slaughter-bound truck, in a reference to the reputation turkeys have as excellent mothers. He watches as she and the others are driven to their deaths
After being rescued, Toby becomes a companion animal, and instead of being killed and eaten, he becomes part of the family
The ad shows Toby becoming a beloved companion animal instead of being slaughtered and eaten.
At the end, a message comes up on the screen saying: ‘Peace on Earth begins at home – have a vegan Christmas.’
The ad, which PETA created in collaboration with creative agency Dream Farm, will be shown throughout the festive season in cinemas across the UK, including most Vue, Cineworld, and Odeon branches.
However, the advert has been rated 12A by the CAA and PG by BBFC, and so it won’t be able to run ahead of any children’s films.
PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi said: ‘Turkeys like Toby are gentle, gracious, and gregarious individuals, and each one has a story that should not end on a fork.
‘PETA urges everyone to share comfort and joy this Christmas by enjoying a delicious vegan feast. We stand ready to help with our free vegan starter kit.’
The charity added that while in nature, turkeys are ‘protective parents and spirited explorers’ who can live up to 10 years, those killed for food ‘are normally slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks of age’.
The emotional advert opens with the baby turkey (known as ‘poults’) being thrown from a slaughterhouse-bound truck by his mother, who saves his life
After being rescued from the middle of the road, Toby is taken in by a family, and he becomes a companion animal
PETA’s advert is the latest in a line of emotional offerings created by retailers and organisations as they go head-to-head in the battle of the Christmas ads.
Among them are John Lewis, which set social media alight with its heartwarming advert showing a father learning how to skateboard in a bid to bond with his new foster daughter.
Meanwhile Heathrow’s heart-warming ad, titled The Gift, shows a couple in Terminal 2, who long to be reunited with their children for the holiday season – and their wish is granted in a moving reunion.
The feel-good clip begins by showing the parents in Terminal 2, drinking champagne to toast their imminent festive getaway.
A couple embarking on their first Christmas adventure without the children is at the heart of Heathrow Airport’s sweet ad, called ‘The Gift’
As they sit down for a pre-flight meal, her husband then reveals he’s got an early present for her, instructing the wife to close her eyes
However, despite the exciting adventure ahead, the forlorn mother appears homesick for her family, especially when she spies a family with children laughing excitedly in the airport terminal ahead of their Yuletide flight.
While a peruse through duty-free cheers her up, her mind still appears set on a Christmas with the whole family.
As they sit down for a pre-flight meal, her husband then reveals he’s got an early present for her, instructing the wife to close her eyes.
In moving scenes, their two grown-up children then appear at the table – and it’s revealed they’ll be joining their parents on their Christmas holiday break after all.
The short feature ends with the line: ‘This Christmas, depart as you mean to go on’.
In moving scenes, their two grown-up children then appear at the table – and it’s revealed they’ll be joining their parents on their Christmas holiday break after all
The ad, which stars James Daffern (who has featured in UK hits like Doctors, Casualty and Holby City) as the father and Charlie Norfolk as the mother.
All the background characters featured in the short film – which is the work of London-based independent creative agency St Luke’s – were Heathrow colleagues.
The offering was directed by award-winning Molly Burdett, who won gongs last year for her work on an advert for charity Women’s Aid, and who is also known for her video work with Mercury Prize and Brit Award-winning singer Arlo Parks.
The airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said he hopes the ad ‘shares the joy we feel when our passengers create these special memories at the airport’.
‘Colleagues across Heathrow will be working hard to make sure that millions of people can get away for their festive holidays,’ he added.