A series of new videos from creative agency SmithGifford for its client PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that are designed to raise awareness of how cows used for dairy are treated to obtain their milk is set to launch this week.

The effort is part of PETA’s “Revolt” campaign over the mistreatment of cows and includes three 60-second spots done in simple animation and titles written in a dispassionate voice and a video style reminiscent of black and white home movies from the 1950s and 1960s.

The spots reveal how cows become pregnant, how mothers are separated from their offspring, what happens to calves, how to increase lactation and more. All the spots carry the tagline “What happens to cows is revolting. Revolt!”

“After generating a multitude of ideas, we realized that the best idea of all was the simple truth because the truth did not need embellishment,” said SmithGifford CEO Matt Smith. “In fact, in the three videos we created together with PETA, the emotional connection lies in the absence of emotion. They purposely look like instructional style films, as if created by a dairy association, to help dairy farmers maximize their milk production.”

The initiative coincides with on-the-ground demonstrations PETA plans to carry out this week at the World Dairy Expo being held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI, from Oct. 2-6. The three videos from SmithGifford are scheduled run on all of PETA’s social media channels.

“The World Dairy Expo celebrates the institutionalized horrors of the dairy industry, which include rape and kidnapping,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s peaceful rebels will appeal to all kind to condemn this violence and opt for healthy and delicious vegan milks, yogurts, and cheeses instead.”

The campaign has been translated into several languages for PETA affiliates in Asia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.




  • Agency: Smith/Gifford
  • CEO: Matt Smith
  • President: Trisha Pierce
  • Creative Director: Bill Cutter
  • Copywriter: Jonathan Mandell
  • Senior Art Director: Grace Taylor
  • Motion Graphic Designer: Jingky Gilbert
  • Senior Art Director: Paul Wind
  • Art Director: Jamin Hoyle
  • Senior Account Manager: Caitlin Scott
  • Illustrator: Rex Flowers
  • Sound Designer: Brandon Chapman

2 Responses

  1. Wendy Brannen

    As a communicator and follower of yours, I have to ask…does this, “New PETA campaign reveal mistreatment of cows”? Or, should it be, “Treatment of cows topic of new PETA campaign”? I would argue that it is not up to CC to judge in its headline, rather the headlines should only convey information, not pass judgment. As a DC-area communicator in the agriculture space, PETA is, similar to other activist organizations, considered controversial and believed to not always make choices based in credible science. But, whether PETA or any group, I think there is a burden to convey the information you wish to convey without making a determination: Your readers can do that!

    Thanks for listening.

    • Paul Duning

      Valid point Wendy! Capitol Communicator did not intend to pass judgement. It only intended to represent the advertising campaign as it was intended to be represented by PETA and its agency. Thank you for your comment.


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