Why Not Cleanse the 9/11 Palette With a Little AIDS-Stricken Hitler?
Talk about a headline. What's better than AIDS? Getting screwed by an infamous world leader of course. George Parker has a campaign from Germany called AIDS is a mass murderer from Regenbogen e.V. in conjunction with German agency das comitee. Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Joseph Stalin stand at the ready to service the people. (Ouch.) It rivals the DDB 9/11 party going on for shock value, that's for sure--and it's just as misguided, falling into the same cliched trap. (NSFW clip after the jump.)
Not for its use of Hitler (Nazi imagery is not illegal in Germany if it's for purpose of satire or historical commentary and not glorifying Nazi ideology), but because both base their strategy on the idea that the killer (in this case AIDS and in the DDB work a tsunami), do it on purpose.
I get the intent of both, in that they wanted to draw attention to a natural disaster by depicting a lot of people dying in the most dramatic way possible. Problem is, AIDS kills, it doesn't murder, much as they want to personify it.* I may be splitting hairs on that point, but they sure went out of their way to make the distinction.
Getting stuff like that right goes to the heart of any campaign where it either feels right or it doesn't. This feels like, "Hey, let's shock with Hitler." Doesn't really take ball to do that, does it? (Ouch, part 2.)
Thing is, while the work here is bold and shot well, etc., it sounds like it wants to be a bigger statement than it really is. Whatever happened to clever, not just shocking? Instead we get redundant visuals and headlines basically saying AIDS kills a lot of people. Really? It does? Who knew.
Or is it just me and this is groundbreaking work?
UPDATE: AIDS charities weigh in.
*I believe this is the same logic Helen Hunt used in the movie Twister where she thought a tornado had chased her family around on purpose.