I’m a fan of lists. I’m also a fan of Jack Shepherd (as in the guy who usually writes this blog not the doctor on Lost—though I like him too). Jack’s off enjoying the holidays with his family so I thought I’d use part of my time on the blog to spotlight some of Jack’s non-blog work at PETA. (Hopefully Jack will keep this in mind when he comes back and sees all the typos I left on “his blog.”) Jack’s primary job duty other than writing The PETA Files is coordinating what we call “online viral projects”—projects that are funny, shocking, or emotional in some other way so much that when people see them they forward them on to their friends and the content spreads around the Internet through word of mouth.
My 10 Favorite Projects That Jack Masterminded or The Ten Projects that I’m Most Proud to Have Worked with Jack On
1. Super Chick Sisters
Super Chicks Sisters, a parody of Super Mario Bros. that highlights KFC’s abusive practices was Jack’s first mega-hit. We really made an impression on the gaming world—and Jack knows better than anyone that it’s a tough world to penetrate. Over a half a million people have played Super Chick Sisters on our web sites. Probably an equal amount of people have played it on other sites. Not bad!
2. Trollsen Twins: Full House of Horror Video
Jack had to watch endless hours of Full House to be able to write the Full House of Horror script. Then he put his money where his mouth is and got naked for the project in true Terminator style. Really just seeing Jack walk down the Tanner’s kitchen stairs is why this project is my second favorite. It’s that simple.
3. Santa Got Run Over by His Reindeer
Jack not only wrote the lyrics but he sang the song as well. It’s the singing that gets it the high ranking. I love the whole animation because it highlights how we have a sense of humor about ourselves.
4. State of the Union Undress Jack certainly has an interesting job! He’s paid to recruit his co-workers to shed their clothes for the Internet. Watch the video if you don’t know what I’m talking about. This makes the top 5 of my list of favorite projects because it’s a great example of how ballsy PETA is. We’re not afraid to be edgy and neither are the brave individuals who work for PETA who are willing to put themselves out there.
5. Trollsen Twins: Dress Up the Trollsens
This campaign, which is about how Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen should stop promoting and wearing fur, is so wonderful it’s on the list twice! We had been talking about doing a dress up dolls game for over a year before the Trollsens campaign came around and we knew we had a match.
6. KFC Cruelty Sign Generator
I love this project because it’s something KFC should have done themselves and probably would have if they had thought of it. Although their version would have educated far fewer people about cruelty to animals…
7. PETA’s Holiday Snow Globe E-card
The sleeper hit of 2007. I was pretty psyched when I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in years and he mentioned he saw this the other day. Not bad for a holiday e-card in a world that’s drowning in them.
8. The Fast Food Nation Game
This game, which we created to help promote the Fast Food Nation movie is truly addictive. When making this list I got sidetracked and had to play the game for 20 minutes. Actually every time someone so much as mentions it I have to play it through again. It has a power over me.
9. Burberry Chavs
Thank goodness Jack is British. Otherwise I don’t know how we would have pulled this one off. It’s a great project though because it’s funny even if you don’t know what a “chav” is. I’d explain what this project is but really you just have to experience it for yourself.
10. Pirates of the Carob Bean
I’m obsessed with choose your own adventure stories. In fact this project is almost like Jack’s present to me (Thank you, Jack!). The jokes were actually a bit too niche nerdy for this to be the hit we had hoped but I love it enough to make up for the rest of the world not knowing it exists.
Jack of course would want me to mention that he doesn’t work on these projects alone. Our web folk (Karen, Reannon, Elizabeth O, Shawn, Hasan) are crucial, as are our AV dudes (Hey Jamie and Hayden, what’s up?). Then there are all the people who help with ideas, media, and well there are people all over the organization who’ve helped out. Just like all of PETA’s campaigns and projects these are a real team effort.So if you haven’t already take some time to explore all of these web sites and send them along to your friends who might be open to animal rights but need a soft approach. These projects should warm them right up.- Joel