Christmas is here, and that can only mean one thing … Christmas adverts!
This year, the spotlight is on Vodafone UK, whose high-profile Christmas ad campaign has earned the mobile phone retailer PETA’s Compassionate Marketing Award for promoting a kind meat-free Christmas.
The ad tells the story of a family who decides to raise a turkey, Terry, in the run-up to Christmas. The gentle and intelligent bird quickly becomes a beloved family companion, and the final scene sees Terry sitting at the Christmas table as a guest, not a meal, while Dad serves up a delicious nut roast.
The adorable turkeys used in the making of the advert now live at an animal sanctuary – but most turkeys aren’t as lucky. Turkeys in the wild can live up to 10 years, but those in the meat industry are normally slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks of age. The young birds are hung upside down from metal shackles and dragged through an electrified bath that can cause them to have full-body tremors. Sometimes they’re still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re placed into a bath of scalding-hot water that’s used to remove their feathers. More than 18 million turkeys are killed in the UK every year – more than 10 million for Christmas dinners alone.
The ad, by creative agency Grey London, mirrors the feelings of many Brits, as more and more people realise that there’s no need for turkeys to suffer for a meal, especially when there’s plenty of delicious vegan roasts on the market. In recognition of its efforts, PETA are sending Vodafone a festive hamper filled with delicious vegan treats, including a succulent Tofurky roast.