About this advert
MTV EXIT / UNICEF campaign
20 October, 2009
Vicky Kidby's view
The extent to which human exploitation and trafficking takes place is beyond conceivable thought. Most people are not aware of just how big the trade has grown or exactly how it is funded. The sad truth is that it is partly supported through the sales of counterfeit or pirate items, something many of us have indulged in in the past. MTV EXIT and UNICEF have teamed up with the killers to help raise awareness of this growing problem and have used the medium of music videos to reach a wider target audience and cut through the clutter. Young people are becoming increasingly elusive and ad-savvy, but are an important target audience for this campaign to reach. They are much more likely to come into contact with, and appraise the message in this format as opposed to other more established forms of advertising. This is, in isolation of the message it is communicating, a particularly interesting concept to consider as finding more appropriate means of advertising is a subject under considerably wide debate today. nWith regard to the campaign however, I am very impressed by how hard-hitting, thought provoking and emotionally engaging this 'ad' is. The viewer is voyeuristically exposed to the life of a young girl forced into prostitution however you are not aware of what you are witnessing at first, that understanding is built as the film plays out. You are initially shown the girl meeting a man in a hotel. They embrace in a seemingly uncomfortable way, but the nature of this discomfort is not clear. As the video plays out the viewer is repeatedly taken further and further back in time, being introduced to the context behind the meeting and this slowly causes the true horror of the situation to become clear. By repeating the initial scene with every new addition, the viewer is taken on a journey or discovery, and as you begin to slowly piece together the fragments and understand the true nature of the message, you find yourself pre-empting and resisting what will come next. It feels like you are active in the learning process, and this causes the message to resonate more deeply and shock to a greater degree. The repetitive element also alludes to the commonality of the crime and the way the girls are trapped and forced to relive the horror over and over again with no escape. nAs if the imagery was not rousing enough the music adds an even greater level of emotion to the video. The tone of the song is relevant to the message and reinforces it well. The end line comes together backwards, a word at a time, to read 'some things cost more than you realise'. This is another powerful technique as the same slow realisation the viewer came to when piecing together the content of the film, is felt again when they piece together the line. It makes you think. It makes you question that which you maybe hadn't even considered before as the real consequences of your actions are bought to your attention. Everything about the execution stays with you after the video is over, the emotional pull of the message is strong, even stronger due to the unexpected nature of the medium. I believe this is a fantastic way of communicating such an important message to those who need to hear it.
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