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Beware the Octocurse warns PETA in parody film from Grey London

To raise awareness of octopus farming and reduce octopus consumption, PETA introduces the Octocurse

By Creative Salon

Animal rights charity PETA is using parody and dark humour to urge people to stop eating octopus and alert them to the serious issue of octopus farming in a campaign created by Grey London.

Octopuses, largely considered to be the most intelligent of molluscs, and dubbed ‘Einsteins of the Sea’, are under threat from octopus farms. These cruel farms will cram the cephalopods into tiny tanks before they are killed in inhumane ways.

Directed by leading international comedy director Jeff Low, the film highlights the amazing characteristics of octopuses and raises awareness of a petition to block the development of the first octopus farm in Europe. It marks the first time Grey has worked with PETA.

The 90” spot, called ‘Peta Presents: The Octocurse’ emulates a science-fiction series from the 1970s and opens with the line ‘It is said that if you eat octopus, you will be cursed,’ before showing the awful things that people risk happening to them if they eat octopus. These include having three beating hearts, blue blood, displaying extreme emotion, having a head that expands to octopus’ proportions, having the power to expel ink and growing octopus eyes. It ends with the message: ‘Octopuses are extremely intelligent, sensitive creatures. If you eat them you’re basically a cannibal. Stay human. Don’t eat octopus’.

Vanessa Johansson, Anti-Speciesism Project Leader at PETA said: “We are busily searching for intelligent life in space while we still eat the thinking, feeling life forms on our own planet. Octopuses, for example, are capable of complex thought processes: they can navigate mazes, use tools, and learn how to do such things as unscrew lids simply by watching. Yet every year, hundreds of thousands of these clever cephalopods are killed in crude ways for a snack. Because it’s often hard to reach people with these simple facts, PETA has partnered with Grey London – to give viewers food for thought and encourage them to show kindness to these animals by leaving them off their plates.”

David Wiggleworth, Executive Creative Director at Grey London added: “PETA wanted one thing…for people to stop eating octopus. It’s a serious brief that we tackled with a silly answer; by creating a very ‘real’ curse. And that curse? If you eat one of these creatures, you will turn into one. An idea as dark and dumb as this needed one man to bring it to life, my fiendishly funny friend Jeff Low. Huge thanks to him and Biscuit for helping us realise this madness. Stay Human people. Don’t eat Octopus.”

The film breaks on 19th October in both the UK and the US, with content shared globally on PETA-owned channels.


Client PETA UK

Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen

Anti-Speciesism Project Leader Vanessa Johansson

Creative Studio Grey London

Global CCO Javier Campopiano

President&CCO Laura Jordan Bambach

ECD David Wigglesworth

Head of Art Costanza Rossi

Creative Directors Cesar Herszkowicz & Alexandru Vasile

Creative Cameron Sutherland

CSO Raquel Chicourel

Agency Planner Asad Shayk

Joint Managing Director Jonny Tennant-Price

New Business Director Katherine Goodale

Group Business Director Ayesha Datoo

Executive Producer Maxine Hose

Agency Senior Producer Anthony Borkett

Head of Design Sunir Patel

Designer Stuart Leung

Production Company Biscuit Filmworks UK

Producer Kwok Yau

Executive Producer Samantha Chitty

Managing Director/Executive Producer Rupert Reynolds-Maclean

Head of Production Polly du Plessis

Production Manager Thom Green

Director Jeff Low

D.O.P. Matthew Emvin Taylor

Production Design Lucie Red

Editing Company (offline) Shift Post

Post-Production Untold

Editor Saam Hodivala

Colourist Julien Alary

VFX Supervisor Alex Kulikov

VFX Artists Michael Korniltsev/Felicia Petersen/Lucas Girault/

Lewis Hodd

Online Supervisor Richard Harris

Executive Producer Ian Berry

Producer George Reid

Audio Post-Production 750mph


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