The target audience are exotic animal skin shoppers and those who know little about the horrors that exotic animals endure but have fallen prey to luxury marketing that masks the ugly truth behind the leather. Blinded by beauty, simply giving facts to consumers about animal cruelty is not enough to establish understanding and create positive change.
‘Behind the Leather’ was born out of insightful qualitative research that revealed a social disconnect between exotic skin beauty and the animal cruelty behind it. Hence, the creative idea was to make the truth of cruelty so big that it overshadows preference for luxurious beauty. We brought animal cruelty to life in a place most familiar to those craving for beauty in exotic leather, a high-end boutique that sells seemingly authentic luxury fashion items. The key was to connect the beauty of luxury to the animal cruelty involved by making them exist in the same place.
We set up a pop-up boutique store with an exquisite collection of leather products made from exotic animal skins. The trendy, high-fashion facade attracted customers looking for luxury leather products. The products were manufactured to appear identical to brand name items. But the interior of handbags, for example, were fitted with moving parts that mimicked the bloody, beating internal organs of animals. As customers explored the items, hidden cameras captured their shocked and disgusted reactions. PETA then revealed themselves and educated customers about the cruelty behind the animal trade. The “shock” tactic was chosen because it is unforgettable, compelling and humanizing.