July 2, 2009 at 10:02 am (advertising, Environmental Graphic Design, marketing, News, print media) (ad, ad campaign, advertising, advertising campaign, alarm, alarming, Amnesty, Amnesty International, but it's happening now, campaign, domestic violence, dude punchin a lady, EGD, Environmental Graphic Design, exhibit, eye tracking camera, eye-tracking, German, Germany, Hamburg, interactive display, it's not happening here, out of the box, print ad, print media, publicity, shocking, shocking ad, shocking advertising, successful campaign, Swiss, switzerland, technology, violence)
Amnesty international is known for making alarming ads – the 2006 Swiss “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now” campaign ranks among my all time favorites. This time they’ve really pushed the envelope in regards to what a shocking ad is, how it’s made, and what it does. Their latest bus stop poster, introduced as a single display last month in Hamburg, Germany, uses an eye-tracking camera to gauge when it’s being looked at.
While the viewer is not looking directly at it, the poster features a couple that appears to be a nice, friendly, average couple posing for a picture. If a viewer is not looking directly at the poster the image changes to “a dude punchin’ a lady.” When the viewer turns to confirm their suspicions, the image changes back to the afore mentioned smiling picture of the couple. This change occurs after a slight pre-programmed delay allowing the viewer to see the beating for a split second.
The message “It happens when nobody is watching.”
The poster has been the cause for much controversy, but it has definitely raised awareness. It does not sound like there will be many more versions of this poster around, though there has been plenty of third-party publicity for the one incarnation.