Amnesty Says ‘We’re Watching You’

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

This Monday will see a dramatic and sobering video go up on a digital screen at Dundas Square, in amongst the flashy fashion, entertainment and other ads that dominate an area considered Toronto’s ‘Times Square’.

Created pro bono by Toronto ad agency Agency 59, the ad on behalf of Amnesty International is meant to interrupt the traffic around this popular outdoor square, and break through its surroundings, with the video of a terrified young man who is grabbed, hit and about to be executed.

However, the three soldiers holding their rifles suddenly stop what they are doing, as if they see the people in the area watching them. They lower their guns and walk away, leaving the man to live. A super comes up that says, “If someone’s watching…the violence stops”.

A website URL at the end of the spot invites people to use their mobile devices to share the spot, but more importantly, to immediately sign an online petition to release a prisoner of conscience and to join Amnesty.

The 15-second spot, silent in its Dundas Square location, can also be seen with sound on YouTube.

We’ve heard that Agency 59 also created a 30-second TV spot, but at least one broadcaster has turned it down because of its violent content – a rather strange move perhaps considering the violence on many TV programs.

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