Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, October 12, 2021

saturday morning slaughter
If UNICEF wanted to rivet people’s attention to the plight of children caught up in warzones, there’s probably no better way than to bomb the hell out of Smurf Village:

The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom- shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.

Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.

The final frame bears the message: “Don’t let war affect the lives of children.”

It is intended as the keystone of a fund-raising drive by Unicef’s Belgian arm, to raise £70,000 for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Burundi.

Philippe Henon, a spokesman for Unicef Belgium, said his agency had set out to shock, after concluding that traditional images of suffering in Third World war zones had lost their power to move television viewers. “It’s controversial,” he said. “We have never done something like this before but we’ve learned over the years that the reaction to the more normal type of campaign is very limited.”

Has Gargamel suddenly acquired an air force?

You can view the teaser spot, produced by ad agency Publicis, right here.

It’s funny how “real” photographic images don’t have the same impact as this animated gorefest. I think it has something to do with how the mind processes visual information. Drawings, being representations of the physical world, convey a more universal character. Specific photos can be isolated/anonymized mentally, especially if the subject is someone you don’t personally know. But with an animated figure, a certain degree of transference takes place. And when it’s such an archetypical character set as the Smurfs, its that much more powerful.

Still, I wish they’d have targeted those lousy Snorks instead.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/12/2021 06:17:31 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Pop Culture
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