UNICEF, a.k.a. United Nations Childrens Fund, has decided to create an anti war short by characterizing the Smurfs being blown to hell from bombs dropped by warplanes. A spokesman for UNICEF has said his agency wanted to shock viewers because traditional images of third world war zones were not working.
I can understand wanting to get the publics' attention regarding various human rights issues, but is using cartoon characters as victims really necessary? Does UNICEF honestly believe that families are going to sit around the table and have long deep discussions about global violence after their children have just witnessed their beloved characters being massacred?
I'm quite surprised that the owners of Peyo's estate decided to give permission for this. If someone releases a STD video starring Smurfette I'm going to be really pissed.
This may set an ugly precedence. I don't have children, but I hate to imagine having to explain to my nephews why some ad agency hired by a humanitarian organization decided to depict their heroes being killed.
I can see some West African relief org releasing a video of various Warner Bros characters having their limbs cut off because they don't support the current totalitarian regime. At the end the narrator will say "Every time you buy a diamond from DeBeers Tweety loses a foot." Porky Pig will then say "That's all folks" to the now famous Looney Tunes theme. Ugh.
Now imagine if PETA decided to use these tactics. Foghorn Leghorn being chopped to bits in a meat grinder, Pluto being beaten by some brute, and/or the Care Bears being shot by some mad hunter drunk on lite beer. Good lord this really disturbs me.
I say smurf UNICEF. I call on Hefty Smurf to smurf them up something smurfy.
"We wanted something that was real war - Smurfs losing arms, or a Smurf losing a head -but they (Peyo's estate) said no." - Julie Lamoureux, account director at Publicis for the ad campaign.
UNICEF ad drops bomb on Smurfs
Update: Here is a real crappy video of a broadcast which contains the Smurf video.