I’m agog at how effectively the US/UK non-profit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is at using online media combined with conventional marketing techniques.
They have produced a gorgeous looking advert (which is only available through their site and yes it is right by a donate button and some very slick lifestyle advice to encourage you to become vegetarian) showing a naked Alicia Silverstone (I’d never heard of her before – but then I was barely aware of Peta!).
The ad also has that other critical element a simple, concrete, surprising and compelling story: Stop eating animals and you too could look like this!
All that should be compelling enough, but what has made this such a wonderful campaign though is that the nudity has led to a TV station in houston banning the ad, as they explain on their blog:
We had picked Houston because it consistently ranks in the top ten least healthy cities in the country, so we figured they could use some good diet advice (honestly, who in their right mind would turn down friendly diet advice from the beautiful Alicia Silverstone?), but Houstonians need not despair. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
“Houston viewers can still go to PETA.org and get an eyeful, not only of the stunning Ms. Silverstone, but also of our free Vegetarian Starter Kit—chock full of delicious recipes—that will make them drool for an entirely different reason.”
It’s not the first time Peta has used nudity – they also pull a wonderful stunt each year just before the Pamplona Bull run by staging the Running of the Nudes (thanks catnip for the post which set me off on this) and other people have disrobed for them. If it all sound too frivolous then why not look at the stories they tell with video on petatv an their youth campaign in the uk called peta2 which uses the tagline “question authority”.
I do though have to add two qualifiers. I couldn’t get the embed video on your blog code to work for me and is it possible that I’m only really enthusing about this because I’m a bloke? That aside I’d love to see some figures about how far this effort helps fund raising and changes some behaviour, but I expect this substantial investment will pay off.
Peta, who I support completely, send out an incredibly high number of emails (which of course preach to the converted), effective their campaigns might be, but I don’t think they’ve quite got online communication properly.
You didn’t know who Alicia Silverstone was ? Shame on you 😉
So if the content is compelling – perhaps the integration into communities needs to be improved then? Perhaps Peta could relax a little and make space for supporters to spread the word?