October 31, 2013

Amnesty International's Hyper-Local and "Hyper-Visual" Public Service Denouncements

Amnesty Intl Not Happening Here a

Amnesty Intnl Not Happening Here c

Amnesty Intnl Not Happening Here b

810 amnesty ad 1 jpg

810 amnesty ad 2 jpg

810 amnesty ad 4 jpg

810 amnesty ad 8 jpg

810 amnesty ad 9 jpg

According to this project brief, Amnesty International’s campaign (“It’s not happening here. But it is happening now.”) encompassed 200 posters in Switzerland, each of which carefully recreates the immediate background so the scene in the poster seems to be taking place on-the-spot.

Attention grabbing, yes. But what’s your sense of the effect? (And how would you judge different effects by different posters?)

What’s interesting also is the PR thrust of the AI video. If the point of the campaign is to promote the AI brand, it sounds like its been wildly successful. Not only does the video have a “Madison Avenue” emphasis, it’s interesting to see how many links to the campaign in Google are from marketing and design sites.

If the goal was not just to drive traffic to AI and increase the organization’s brand but to also cause people to “imagine it there” — to effect hearts and minds, does it create that result, or does it yield a more resistant reaction: people shutting off out of  denial or else getting off on it as voyeuristic — or even more, for the cool photo effect? And then, the video states that these posters were also seen and discussed (online, I assume) in countries “where the human rights situation is a problem.” Interesting statement. That leads me to also wonder how different reactions in “those countries” differed from the Swiss reaction — particularly to the fact that these posters were displayed all over that Western country.


Larger edit here.

(Design: Walker Werbeagentur Zurich for Amnesty International/Switzerland. Images are news photos but individual authorship not identified.)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus