It's hard to think of a way to use Manti Te'o's sad and twisted fake girlfriend saga to promote a brand, but the creative minds behind a recent advertisement at PETA may have pulled it off.
The animal rights organization released an ad Monday with Te'o's photo and the line, "Sometimes faking it is better." The campaign is encouraging people to ditch actual chicken for their Super Bowl parties in favor of a faux alternative.
"Manti Te'o may have been buffaloed by a fake girlfriend, but sometimes 'fake' is actually better," PETA wrote on its blog. "That's why PETA created this billboard urging football fans to avoid unnecessary roughness to chickens on Super Bowl Sunday by intentionally grounding real chicken wings and opting for play-action fake fowl instead."
Many chickens are slaughtered in inhumane ways, says the organization, and PETA is urging fans to look for alternatives to the traditional chicken wings.
"Those animals in PETA's 'Glass Walls' video? Unlike Manti's make-believe girlfriend, their deaths are real," the organization wrote. "Birds slaughtered for their wings and other body parts are often dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still conscious and aren't covered by even the meager protections of the Humane Slaughter Act."
PETA media officer Wendy Wegner told Matt Hinton of CBS Sports that the organization has submitted the designs to companies in New Orleans in hopes of securing at least one billboard by the time fans flock to Louisiana for Sunday's Super Bowl.
This controversy over chicken wing consumption may not even be an issue for fans, as certain prognosticators are forecasting a serious shortage of wings this weekend.