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War shows the worse side of life. These ads too.

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 16-05-2014 19:00 | Category: Peace & Conflicts

Human Rights Foundation: War shows the worse side of life. Africa.

It is difficult to define what the worst thing in life is. War is one the choices for many people in the world. It is also the claim in this powerful campaign from The Human Rights Foundation (HRF).

All wars are capable of revealing human nature’s worse. With this motto, Grey Brasil was selected to work on the development of the campaign. The campaign will unfold during the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum, an event that this week gathers world leaders, activists, executives, journalists and artists to share the importance of the cause for human rights.

The pieces were created based on journalistic photos of conflicts that marked history, such as the Vietnam War and the II World War. The images characterize the aggressors that use their power against their victims. The signature brings the phrase, “War shows the worse side of life. Show your best side,” and invites people to access the site www.thehrf.org to contribute to the NGO.

The ads have been published since March in newspapers and magazines and are used as posters and postcards.
Grey is also producing a film for the second phase of the campaign.

(click images to enlarge)

Human Rights Foundation: War shows the worse side of life. Middle East.

Human Rights Foundation: War shows the worse side of life. Vietnam.

Human Rights Foundation: War shows the worse side of life. WW2.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF)
Grey Brasil
Additional credits:
Creative Director: Mariangela Silvani and Sérgio Fonseca
Art Direction: Felipe Leite
Copywriter: Felipe Leite and Leandro Leal
Illustration: Fuze
Account Executive: Caio Volpe
Media: Davi Monteiro, Fernanda Massa and Ronaldo Camargo
Client Approval: Thor Halvorssen, Sarah Parker


Comments about War shows the worse side of life. These ads too.

I wanted to like this campaign, I really did. But I can’t. By showing the people doing the perpetrating as satanic monsters, the visuals trump the positive message.

The verbal message I believe is trying to convey the powerful message that it is the institution of militarism and the experience of warfare that brings out the worst aspects of humanity.

I read this visual as saying exactly the opposite: people who are perpetrating are inherently monsters. And how does one defeat monsters? Only through superior firepower, right?

Instead, to create truly anti-war, pro-peace art, we need to humanize both people who are trapped in perpetrating roles as well as those who are the targets of their attacks.

Posted by Sam Diener | 16-05-2014 20:03

Comments about War shows the worse side of life. These ads too.

Totally agree with Sam here above.  I would call this campaign a big fail: it actually disconnect the “human” (as in: controllable, tractable) nature of violence portraying it as “fantastic” (as in: pertaining to a fantasy world).

Net result: de-humanisation of the enemy (in this case the violent perpetrators), which is ironic, given that de-humanisation of the enemy is at the root of most, if not all war crimes…

What were they thinking?!

Posted by Mac Ryan | 16-05-2014 22:05

Comments about War shows the worse side of life. These ads too.

In addition to what was said above this campaign does nothing to make me want to go to their website and share my best side. It just makes me want to turn away - not to engage.

Posted by Timo | 27-05-2014 12:38

Comments about War shows the worse side of life. These ads too.

I think this is a great ad for Photoshop.

Posted by Reuben Turner | 6-06-2014 09:59

My comment


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