The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

You Are Powerful

You Are Powerful

From time to time when I am researching for my next post I stumble over true advertising jewels of the past couple of years like this campaign from 2009 for Amnesty International. (more after the video)

Amnesty International – We Are Powerful from Smoke & Mirrors on Vimeo.


Here what SMOKE & MIRRORS write about their own visual effects masterpiece:
“This dramatic and high profile piece of communication with the new banner ‘You Are Powerful’ highlights the fact that everyone has it within themselves to stand up against human rights abuse.
The chance to be involved with such an amazing cause and the opportunity to be able to communicate an important message, powerfully yet sympathetically, was something Smoke & Mirrors really wanted to get involved with and felt passionate about.
A series of seven modern-day characters were shot in contemporary situations, then composited into the existing news footage where they interact and prevent the violence happening in each of the pieces.
The turnaround time was tough so we were able to use both offices and both time zones to our advantage. This meant that Lead Creative Sean Broughton could work through the night in NY with the London office picking up first thing the next day.
Sean comments, “This was an opportunity to do some real good, so pulling out all the stops was the only way to go. Taking Kim Gehrig (Academy Director and Mother Creative) through each scenario and figuring out the best way to shoot our replacement hero’s, was a joy. Understanding exactly how she wanted each shot to feel, as well as work technically, was very important. She shot everything we needed perfectly to make the shots work as well as they did … while still capturing the right emotional vibe … in a single day!
A passionate and challenging film from the start, the turnaround time was tough, but the achievement goes to prove what a wealth of talent and good will exists within the post industry today when push comes to shove.”
The Smoke & Mirrors team worked closely with creative agency Mother and Production company Academy in achieving the final look and feel of the spot and their hard work paid off when in 2009 at Cannes Lions we were awarded a silver Lions Award for the campaign.”


Director: Kim Gehrig
Production Company: Academy
Producer: Lucy Gossage
Agency: Mother
Creatives: Kim Gehrig
Editor: Joe Guest @ Final Cut

Amnesty International

Belonging to the first generation of true Europeans, with roots almost covering the continent, I spread my life between Germany and Serbia. Read more