To my surprise and delight, it's been a pretty good week in the world of advertising. Most advertising (and PR, for that matter) all blends together and doesn't add any value or say anything interesting, but the following campaign accomplishes something pretty special.
Deployed as a bus shelter installation in Hamburg, Germany, for Amnesty International's domestic violence awareness initiative, this ad forces you to unwittingly engage in a brief role-play scenario that simulates the problem Amnesty is seeking to address, raising awareness not just about the larger problem, but highlighting the fact that this broader issue is the cumulative result of hundreds of thousands of daily, individual acts of rationalization, deferral and feigned ignorance.
Using an eye-tracking camera, the ad displays an image of a happy, smiling couple when you're looking directly at it. When you look away, however, the image changes to one of the same couple, only the man is brutally punching the woman. It's a shocking and unexpected transformation, but one that perfectly communicates Amnesty's message without having to explicitly tell you what the organization is trying to say.