James Cromwell PETA Hero - © PETA

PETA SuperBowl Ad Blindsided?

PETA, the militant animal rights group, has – apparently – been sidelined in its attempt to place a potentially inflammatory protest ad on this year’s SuperBowl broadcast. The ad portrays a Meat Industry Executive ‘confessing his sins’ to his priest because he can’t live with himself any longer…

PETA’s proposed SuperBowl ad continues its recent trend towards harsh,
in-your-face messages that some have called ‘tasteless’ and ‘disgusting’.

Like all SuperBowl ads, it’s a high budget spot, featuring film star James Cromwell as the priest. But we’re betting Cromwell didn’t charge PETA full union scale for his appearance. He’s a well-known vegetarian and an anti-Meat advocate in his own right.

In the spot, the exec, clearly agitated, staggers into the church and into the confessional. The priest opens the slide and the guys lets loose with a a flood of shame and humiliation. He’s the faceless, nameless fellow who came up with the marketing phrases, ‘humane slaughter’, ‘sustainable’, ‘free range’, and he admits – in the privacy of the confessional – that they’re all just marketing hokum.

The priest, meanwhile, becomes more and more upset at what he’s hearing… And, finally, denies the Meat exec forgiveness!

What happened at the goal line?

Last we heard, PETA and the network were still haggling over the cost of the time. So, maybe, SuperBowl fans, up to their elbows in Buffalo Wing sauce and Chili and Burgers and so on will be spared PETA’s strident message.

I, for one, believe that, the more PETA wails at the meat-eating majority and the more outrageous their stunts become, the less Meat-eaters listen to them. PETA, in fact, makes itself look ridiculous with some of its stunts. Like the recent attempt to put signs on hundreds of London double-decker buses asking, ‘If you wouldn’t eat your dog [for Christmas dinner], why would you eat a turkey?’. The London bus transit authority refused to host the media campaign, calling it ‘unacceptable’. Other observers called it tasteless and disgusting.

An extra dimension of ‘unacceptability…

And there are those already warning PETA that it may literally bring down the Wrath of God upon itself for the ad – if it runs – via the Catholic Church, which probably didn’t give it’s blessing for the ‘confessional’ idea in the first place.

I would strongly recommend that PETA hire a real marketing pro or two if it wants to make any significant impact on the public’s thoughts and beliefs about eating Meat. Or at least give up on the in-your-face tactics they’ve been espousing lately. Campaigns like the ‘Dog Head’ posters and the SuperBowl ad don’t do anything positive for anybody.

~ Maggie J.