To open this blog with a disclaimer: the Red Cross can do no harm in my eyes. True, I know about the administration funds and the bureaucracy issues, but I also believe that they they possess the right intentions, and have done far more good than any other similar operation. For that, I am willing to forgive the maladministration.
But I’m not sure that I can forgive the blurring of lines between reality and game. Especially, the cold, harsh reality that the Red Cross faces on a daily basis. True, most video games may be a battle for life or death. But the ad takes on a far darker perspective when it becomes apparent that the Red Cross is not merely playing a game. Life or death becomes the harsh reality when one spends almost a century “fighting the real world.”
I think the issue here is that, from a distance, you could only hope that the iconic red cross would be enough to compel the observer. From where I’m standing, I can see more ten-year old boys getting excited over the prospect of a new video game than willing donors being intrigued by the Red Cross’ work in Ecuador.
Perhaps with larger text, or a billboard sized advertisement, this image would capture the significance of the work of the Red Cross. The reality that they play within is larger than life, and far more difficult to comprehend than the virtualised reality of a Playstation III. That’s why I’m not sure moving away from the ‘traditional’ Red Cross advertising of hospitals and battlefields were entirely well-advised.
I was open about the fact that the Red Cross can do no harm; even here, the darkness of this game controller being in human hands is compelling. The Red Cross is placing its future in our own hands, because contrary to popular opinion, even organisations as prominent as the Red Cross need support. So perhaps the beauty of this ad is that in this harsh reality, the disturbing game between life and death is in the viewer’s control.
Advertising Agency: ELJ Publicidad, Ecuador
Executive Creative Director: David Cabezas
Creative Directors: Esteban Samaniego, Julio Ortiz