A tortured teddy bear stands in for real animals in PETA's jarring ad

VMLY&R makes a point about testing that's easier on viewers' eyes

Published On
Oct 24, 2018

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A little girl loses a treasured teddy bear, and the unfortunate stuffed animal is found by a cruel scientist, in a spot from PETA and VMLY&R that’s a disconcerting metaphor for animal testing.

The bear is strapped down to a lab table before receiving injections in its eyes. Its head is shaved and it’s put on an IV drip of experimental drugs. The scientists cuts open its chest and pulls stuffing free before the bear flatlines and is unceremoniously dumped in the trash.

It’s a clever way to bypass filters for gore and violence on social media. Real animals like chimpanzees, dogs and rats actually undergo procedures like these, so a teddy bear stand-in makes the video tolerable enough to watch, as opposed to PETA classics like “Meet Your Meat,” which features real slaughterhouse footage.

Previously, PETA worked with Y&R New York on a campaign that ties meat consumption to poor performance in bed. This is the first PETA work since the agency merged with VML, again led by the New York office.