Whilst browsing through www.adweek.com, I found an article on the best adverts of 2014. One which I remember seeing at the time and has stuck with me (and thousands of others since) is this advert created by ‘Don’t Panic’, directed by Martin Stirling. It was created to draw attention to the awful living conditions for children in countries struck by war and the fear and destruction they face as a war develops. This was done by portraying the life of a normal child whose life descends into terror as war hits the country where she lives, only made shocking by the fact that it is set in England. The video was such a massive hit as it opened the eyes of many viewers, making the news stories we read everyday from foreign countries seem all the more real and scary.
“Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”
“Created to mark the third anniversary of the conflict in Syria, our multi-award-winning, massively viral video put the plight of Syria’s children into news headlines all over the world; it follows one ordinary girl’s life as it falls apart around her, one second at a time.”
The video is filmed showing a second of each day in the life of a young girl from London, England. It follows her in from one birthday through to the next. It begins with her playing with friends, make up, watching television and playing recorder. The beginning of the war is introduced subtly, on the television in the background, on the front of a newspaper being read by her father. Eventually, the war is full blown, the appearance of the girl changing as well as her activities, surroundings and general nature, mood and behaviour. The video ends as it began, as she is sang happy birthday by people who love her. A noticeable difference: considerably less loved ones, a dark, scary setting, the sounds of war in the background and no sign of happiness or excitement on the girls face.
This video is incredibly powerful and moving; an eye opening exposition of life in a war stricken country.