“Victory by any means isn’t victory at all” is the text that lingers after seeing this hard hitting ad from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It sounds almost desperate. It is this undertone what the viewer scares the most because we know what the Red Cross is used to.
The 60-second film, which uses real clips from conflicts around the world, uses populist political rhetoric to take viewers on a journey from a utopian dream to humanitarian nightmare. It is a call to respect the Geneva Conventions. According to the ICRC it is their hardest-hitting ad ever and I think they are right.
Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy at the ICRC:
The Geneva Conventions are based on the principle that wars have limits, and these limits are as necessary today as they ever were. Every State around the world has signed up to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit attacks on medical facilities, torture and the mistreatment of prisoners. Those with the power to make such practices stop have a legal duty to do so. The Geneva Conventions help preserve our humanity during times of conflict. If we lose that, what are any of us left with?
The film was created in collaboration with agencies DigitasLBi and Kitcatt Nohr. It was directed by Tom Green, who also shot the acclaimed Save the Children ad ‘The Most Shocking Second a Day’. The film is being distributed via the global content platform UNILAD, with additional activity on Facebook and other social channels in key global territories.
Tim Clegg, Executive Creative Director, Kitcatt Nohr:
In recent years, we’ve seen a new type of political campaigning emerge which relies on emotional rhetoric. Where headline-grabbing soundbites trump fact and reason. This short-termist approach may help politicians win votes, but the humanitarian consequences we all have to live with are frightening. This hard-hitting campaign uses the increasingly extreme language of political campaigning to remind people of the very real human cost of ignoring the Geneva Conventions. We are really proud to be helping the ICRC engage a younger audience with such an important issue – at such a critical point in time.
I think Tim Clegg is right. Watching the film give the sense of urgency. Action of any kind is necessary, in any form and any place. No fun movie nevertheless extremely motivating
In 2014, the Red Cross showed what the rules of war are with this animation: