Theres a fairly well known email chain that has done the rounds countless times that goes something like this:
How would you advise a mother who is pregnant with her fifth child based on the following facts: Her husband has syphilis. She has tuberculosis. Their first child was born blind. Their second child died. Their third child was born deaf. Their fourth child had tuberculosis. Would you advise the mother for an abortion? Oops! If you said yes, you would have just killed the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven! We cannot know what God has in mind for every individual…
Its one of those emails designed to make you step back and take a look at what you really believe in. Then you go and research further and find out that none of these “facts” are actually true. Then you feel a bit disheartened. I can’t help but feel the same about this ad campaign.
I understand, and am completely all for the message this campaign is trying to send us. Showing us a list of major political, musical and sporting heroes and then surprising us by telling us that they were adopted. I found that aspect interesting and attention grabbing. However, I just don’t see the need to throw in a comparison against people who were not adopted, as if this was the key factor in them becoming (in most of these cases) infamous. I don’t think Hitler did what he did due to the fact that he was raised by his parents. I don’t think Mike Tyson’s penchant for biting ears came from his mom and dad.
Its not comparing like with like, and I find that a bit patronising to say the least. If this is how they judge the merits of adoption, then I’m sure you could just as easily retort by placing a list of famous criminals who were adopted and then comparing them against Mahatma Gandhi.
I think this campaign has the right idea, I just wish it had been executed a little differently. Sometimes less is more.
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, India
Executive Creative Director: Piyush Pandey
Creative Director: Sumanto Chattopadhyay
Art Director: Mayur Varma
Copywriters: Roma Dcruz, Karn Singh