creative impulse

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The Independent Online
Bates Dorland has created a worldwide TV and print campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Four 60-second TV spots centre around a mock newsroom manned by children, while six two-part press executions feature images by renowned photo- journalists. One print ad shows a boy holding what looks like a toy gun; it is only when the page is turned that he is revealed to be a child soldier, with a real firearm. Bates and UNICEF are appealing to corporate sponsors for contributions to TV air-time and press space costs.

The client: UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund

Stacey Adams, head of media relations, London

Bates Dorland did a campaign for UNICEF about seven years ago, and so we decided to approach them again for some pro bono work for our 50th anniversary. It was a difficult brief because we cover so many different issues: child labour, immunisation and education, to name a few. Another difficulty is our international nature: our advertising has to work in all of the 146 countries in which we operate, and must have relevance in places such as India as well as industrialised countries.

What we really needed to get across, besides the fact that we've been going since 1946, is that UNICEF is not an automatically funded organisation. We have to raise funds by asking people to donate.

The agency: Bates Dorland

Ray Ingram, international account director

The core idea behind the press ads is that there are two ways of viewing any situation: they look at a series of scenes, images and objects in a negative and a positive way. The first page features an image only, with a brief caption, but the second draws people into a scene and describes how UNICEF is attempting to improve the situation. It states how much it costs the organisation to do its work, and tells potential donors the value of their pounds 10 against that particular problem.

The main point that drove the TV work was that it would have to run to an internationally recognised formula, and so we came up with the Kids' News Network - a parody of CNN. The idea was to have the issues that affect children outlined by children themselves; we felt that the voices of children, asking simple questions about the world, would be far more powerful than that of an adult n