Welcome to the Will It Stick podcast where hosts Alexis and Melissa break down the craziest brand stunts from some of the biggest name companies and organizations around. From the idea that sparked the stunt, to whether or not they pulled off, our hosts ask the question, “What is it that makes or breaks a marketing campaign or stunt?”

In today’s episode, Alexis and Melissa take us back to the early days of an organization that has had no shortage of controversy over the years when it comes to marketing campaigns. Claiming to have a resounding following of 6.5 million supporters, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA, has been at the forefront of the animal rights movement. Taking a stand against animal abuse, testing, wearing, and eating, in recent years PETA has slowly transitioned towards a stance of veganism and sustainability.

Today, learn about the campaign that started it all, the celebrities that have posed as the face of the organization, and the shocking methods that PETA has used to raise awareness for their cause that has led many to wonder whether or not their tactics are entirely ethical. Starting with the famous “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, the stunt was initially meant as a form of protest against major public events such as fur conventions and Fashion Week. Taking it a step further, the brand stunts continued to build, evolving into the dousing of fur-wearers in red paint, to disturbing performative displays involving masks and coffins. But their efforts didn’t stop there. PETA then turned their attention to major fast food chains including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, creating violent and often frightening ad campaigns depicting animals and women being slaughtered and abused.

Although unsettling, PETA has made significant gains within the animal rights sphere over the years having helped end the use of animals in automobile crash tests, changing how fast-food restaurants source their meat, ending the cruel treatment of animals in circus performances, and even influenced the banning of fur product sales in the state of California. After delving into the history of each of PETA’s unique brand stunts, Melissa and Alexis close today’s episode by discussing the delicate balance between good intentions and questionable methods when it comes to widespread media.

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Peta’s Website has great info here.

Check out Fashion United’s article here.

Check out Harpers Bazaar article.

Read the Inside Business article here.

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