Around ten million turkeys will be eaten in the UK this Christmas – 90 percent of them factory-farmed. Salford design agency Raw has launched a colourful yet shocking animated campaign explaining the controversial process, and hopes it will convince some consumers to opt for meat-free or free range alternatives…
Let’s Talk Turkey is an interactive website featuring a series of animated illustrations. It begins by explaining how turkeys came to be a Christmas dinner table staple and goes on to highlight the differences in shop-bought, free range and wild turkeys’ health and living conditions.
Users are then invited to pledge their support for vegetarian meals or free-range birds. Those who do are added to a list of ‘backers’ and those who are still unsure about their festive dinner choices are taken to a page providing alternative recipes, information about free range farming and links to animal welfare and organic supplier sites.
The website features some lovely illustrations and some humorous copy, but it also reveals some disturbing facts about cramped conditions, painful beak snipping procedures and selective breeding. It does so, however, without using the kind of shock tactics or gory imagery often employed by animal rights groups.
“The problem we see with many mainstream activist campaigns is that they all too often have the opposite effect or are poorly executed,” says Raw creative director Rob Watson. “Shock tactics don’t seem to get viewed, as people immediately click off a website or stop a video [when] it is gruesome and upsetting. We felt the best way to start to engage people was to present them with the facts, but make the journey more engaging – even if it’s just one element that makes them think twice and become more conscious, that’s all it takes,” he adds.
Raw came up with the idea around six weeks ago following discussions over a change in eating habits in the studio: “We’ve worked with food chains in the past but this year has seen a real shift in our studio culture, with four out of seven of the team being predominantly vegetarian, and with the horse meat scandal earlier in the year, more and more people seem to be waking up to the realities of the factory meat industry,” he adds.
Most Brits will be understandably reluctant to change their festive eating habits, particularly when organic and free range alternatives cost so much more than supermarket birds. But by opting for colour, humour and positive reinforcement over gruesome photographs, Raw has designed an educational animal welfare campaign that is easier to digest but no less compelling.