It’s Time to Stop the War

There are countless adverts out there which advertise signing up for the army or navy, but it’s not often that we see the reverse. The increase in public awareness of the conflicts which are happening right now around the world has led to a plethora of no-conflict campaigns. These have ranged in the past from Banksy’s street displays to the tunes of Woodstock, but political expression has recently been taken to a whole new level. Hard-hitting displays, particularly of sensitive topics, have become commonplace in the marketing sphere, but this does not mean they have lost their impact.

Posters have begun to set the standard for clever anti-war marketing campaigns. Such as these below, advertised by the Global Coalition for Peace through its agent, Big Ant International. The campaign revolved around the slogan “What Goes Around, Comes Around” followed by the phrase, “Stop the War in Iraq”. The pictures when flat out are quite simple: a soldier holding a gun, a tank on a field. However, when wrapped around pillars they have a much bigger impact.

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This idea of the simple, but clever poster seems to have become quite a trend. They are effective and make people think – while they appreciate the imaginative idea, they become aware of an important issue. But this is not the only anti-war campaign to hit the streets. Below is a series of photos designed by Ogilvy & Mather for their client Adot. This company attempted to transform the well-known expression “the pen is mightier than the sword”, coming up with a number of posters which demonstrate that the spoken word is more powerful than war. A spokesperson for Adot explained the aim behind the campaign:

“As we at ADOT.COM watch the turmoil unfold in Ukraine, our hearts sink and we cannot but fear the worst.
We urge leaders of Ukraine, Russia and the world to stop and think. We plead to all members of the public to acknowledge they can make a difference and that their actions matter. At the end of the day – if all people stand up and refuse to fight their neighbours, and if all these people grab a megaphone and shout it from the rooftops, there will be nobody left to hold the gun.” The campaign then asked its followers to sign a petition to encourage a dialogue of peace.

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This shows another advance in advertising – use of the internet.

The messages come in a huge variety of media. In the beginning there was Woodstock, now, there are Youtube videos. Creative advertising company ‘Don’t Panic’, in association with Save the Children created the advert below.

This was a great ad, and got round one of the biggest issues companies face when trying to raise awareness of events that only seem to happen on the news: bringing the audience closer to the problem. This issue was also addressed by Amnesty International in their bus stop ads, below.

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