Charlotte Rawlings
Nov 14, 2023

Peta tells people to ‘kill the tradition’ this Christmas in dark animated film

The campaign was created by House 337.

Peta has urged people to let go of one particular Christmas tradition this year in a 90-second Christmas animation.

Created by House 337, “Kill the tradition, not a turkey” introduces viewers to Tessa the turkey, voiced by actor Jane Horrocks.

Tessa is shown wandering around a beautiful Christmas town, singing a revamped version of Deck the Halls where the lyrics highlight unusual festive traditions.

Tessa is fascinated by putting trees indoors, sending letters to men with beards, kissing under the mistletoe and setting Christmas puddings on fire.

However, things take a dark turn when Tessa is thrown into a van and taken to a factory.

The ad shows Tessa being dragged through the building, while she continues to sing the festive tune.

It is then revealed that someone resembling Santa Claus has kidnapped Tessa, causing her to realise she is part of a much more sinister Christmas tradition.

The film ends by inviting people to “Kill the tradition not a turkey. Try vegan this Christmas”.

“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,” Elisa Allen, Peta vice-president of programs and operations, said.

“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.”

It was directed by Neil Stubbings through Jelly and created by Katy Hopkins, Steve Hawthorne, Paul Hancock and David Newbold.

Stubbings said: “Certainly, one of the most ambitious solo endeavours in my career thus far, this project featured an extensive cast of 18 distinct characters and an equal number of intricately detailed environments, making it a truly monumental undertaking.

“However, fuelled by the script’s brilliant concept for a Christmas advertisement with a dark twist, this project was incredibly fulfilling and served as a dream come true.”

The film will launch in cinemas in December and online from 15 November. Cut-down versions will be posted across Peta’s social media channels as well as supporting influencer and PR activations.

Hawthorne, creative director at House 337, added: “Many of us are guilty of sleepwalking into ordering turkey at Christmas without actually knowing why or, in many cases, even particularly enjoying it.

“So we wanted to highlight that doing something just because it’s tradition without actually questioning why and what the consequences are isn’t really good enough.”

“Kill the tradition, not a turkey” follows House 337’s “Red River Farm”, which was a call to action against animal cruelty in the fashion industry.

The film featured actor and singer Jessie Cave presenting what seemed like a children’s television show set on “Red River Farm”. Farm animal puppets sang a song about the dark reality of the fashion industry.

It also follows Peta’s 2022 Christmas spot, which featured Toby the turkey becoming a guest at the dinner table at Christmas rather than the main dish on it.

Horrocks said: “I hope the spot encourages kind souls everywhere to explore vegan dishes that offer some peace on Earth to animals this festive season.”

Campaign UK

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