Creativity Against Terrorism: Using Advertising for Good

Friday at Cannes Lions, I attended a session by Jose Miguel Sokoloff with Lowe + Partners. The Colombian government worked with Lowe + Partners to motivate demobilization of the FARC guerillas.

Here is video about the award-winning campaign, Operation Christmas: 

These campaigns inspired me. They were built around humanity and emotion. The Colombian government wasn’t criticizing the FARC or condemning them. They just wanted them to come home and rejoin society.

For one campaign, Colombia got popular football (soccer) stars to sign soccer balls with messages calling for them to demobilize. These soccer balls were dropped into the jungles.

Another campaign was built around feminine beauty products. When women join FARC, they are treated the same as the men. In the ads, previous FARC women would call for other women to demobilize and be a woman again. This campaign was responsible for the highest percentage of female FARC demobilization.

My favorite campaign shown involved plastic balls that had blue lights in them. These balls were filled with messages or trinkets from citizens asking for their family members/friends to demobilize and return home. The ball were sent down the waterways into the jungle and the blue lights shown through the night. While the messages did not reach the specific people they were written for, the humanity and emotion in the campaign convinced FARC members to demobilize. In addition, when FARC leaders demobilized, they participated in the campaigns by sending messages of peace in ads. They told FARC members that they were being treated right and they were now free.

This is amazing to me. While I can respect great advertisements for products, I am truly inspired when I see advertising campaigns that work to create a better place for us all to live.


About Heather Renae Cosson

SU Grad student, PR Practioner & #SocialMedia Strategist who loves singing, cooking, decorating & event planning.
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2 Responses to Creativity Against Terrorism: Using Advertising for Good

  1. Pingback: Cannes Wrap |

  2. Pingback: Creative Cooperation in Cannes |

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