False promises.

People are inherently good.

Something that we all wish were true. Years of studying ethics at Marquette University, I still find it inconclusive to side with any particular belief on human nature. Are we truly a blank slate, or is there a destiny laid out for us? With so many philosophies on life and stark contrasts in culture, it’s impossible to know for sure.

In an effort to improve the quality of life, there are so many volunteer organizations asking for contributions. All with good intentions, but their work may not always lead to the happy ending. The recent Sandusky case that was in the news, multiple former kids in Sandusky’s second mile charity were molested and raped, was high profile but things like this do happen and many times are never reported. Rape in general is a very tricky subject.

These ads were created by DDB in Maputo, Mozambique as a PSA awareness campaign. Human trafficking happens all over the world, sometimes in your own neighborhood. Doing a quick google search, I just learned of a prostitution ring that was busted in the surrounding area of my hometown. Even if the world seems perfect around you, it has its flaws.

Africa as a whole is a common beneficiary of the seemingly ethical practices of charities, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. With charities helping out the less fortunate, the devils among us are cloaked by smiles and presents.


Execution wise, these ads take a simple and common technique and make it their own. The art directors look like they clipped the blindfold into it’s own layer, and desaturated the base image of the subject. The hand drawn blindfolds are treated to the same contrast as the rest of the image, but left decently saturated. There is so much drama and focus in the visual.

As far as the copy goes, I like how neutral but dramatic it can be read. The visual really dictates the voice. Unfortunately, I believe that this advertisement is very visually driven and the copy works, but is treated as a caption or explanation of the subject. The writing may have been copied directly from the strategy or the creative brief because it is an impressive fact, but it is written in a way that doesn’t connect to the audience. 1000 is a large number, but I believe numbers speak more in a comparison. If it were written to say something like “Year after year, thousands of women and children become sex slaves because of false promises” or “1 of 10 women and children you see today will be sold for sex after being blinded by false promises” (though I’m unsure of that last statistic, comparisons are much easier to imagine then numbers and percentages).