THE BLOG

The Power of Viral

24/06/2014 16:03 BST | Updated 24/08/2014 10:59 BST

We have all been in those brainstorms where someone shouts out: 'we want this to go VIRAL'. The dreaded sentence. Because, does anyone really know the magic formula of how to 'make' something go viral, or indeed, is there one?

Compassion in World Farming worked with Catsnake Film on a recent project. Together, we came up with a concept that garnered three million views in a week and over four million as we speak. We have gone viral!

We asked Catsnake to provoke conversation about the ethics of the meat industry and our film: Secrets of Food Marketing has done just that. Being banned from advertising on British television because we are deemed 'too politically controversial', our film shows how food marketing spin is often used to sell us factory farmed products that we wouldn't otherwise buy.

Kate Cooper a 'Marketing Consultant to the food industry' reveals the secrets of how the food industry makes us as consumers buy what we buy. She shows three techniques, the third being a 'secret weapon' that powers the systemised cruelty of factory farming.

Not to give the game away, but one issue touched on in the film is labelling. We tend to believe what's on the label. And why shouldn't we? Labels are supposed to help us decide what to buy, right? Well, as I discussed in earlier posts, the food labeling system is far from transparent. In fact, phrases such as 'farm fresh' and '100% natural' are all too often disingenuous and misleading labels.

The vast majority of farm animals- more than 80% in the EU - are factory farmed: kept indoors, in confined, cramped spaces, where they are unable to carry out important natural behaviours. For chickens, this may be the ability to spread their wings and dustbathe. Many intensively reared pigs stand on concrete and slats and have their tails cut off without anaesthetic. How 'farm fresh' and '100% natural' does that sound?

Factory farming is harmful to the animals, our health and to the environment. It's a system that goes on because we are often simply not being told the honest truth on the label about how our food is produced. If you are confused about what's on the label, Compassion in World Farming can help; please visit www.ciwf.org because most of our farm animals are not roaming in the fields. They are fattened up indoors without access to grass or sunlight. And that's not much of a life at all.

Want to find out what the 'secret weapon' of food marketing is? I urge you to watch the film. I hope that you come to the same conclusion that I have: no amount of marketing makes factory farming acceptable.

Full disclosure: 'Kate Cooper' is actually an actor named Kate Miles, but the facts about produce and its marketing are real. The audience is also real, so their reaction to what they are told is genuine.