Walker Flips the Channel for Amnesty

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Tiny Swiss agency Walker debuted its latest work for Amnesty International last night in a Zurich cinema, following up its transparent poster series with a romp through satellite TV channels directed by Gorgeous' Chris Palmer. Continuing on the "It's not happening here, but it is happening now" theme, the spot, "Channel Hop" shows television celebrities including "Ready Steady Cook" star Ainsley Harriott, Sky News weatherman Francis Wilson and emcee of the affair, well-known entertainer Nicholas Parsons. The spot, which will air in Swiss cinemas in German and French and in four select evening slots on Swiss national television, took six months to produce, with the celebrities pitching in for free.

"We established the concept with the bus shelter campaign and the environment directly involved," says creative director Pius Walker. "In TV we do the same, using the everyday environment to place our message. It's the contrast between the shallow TV entertainment world and the hard-to-ignore facts the campaign focuses on. [The spot] demonstrates why we need Amnesty. They bring to the surface what normally is hidden well below the comfort zone of our consumption."

On-screen action mimics a channel surfer touching several stations. As the channels change, so do the topics, but rather than cheery flimflam presenters touch on human slavery, child soldiers, orphans in Africa, torture and sexual slavery among young children. Particularly chilling is the sound design; laugh tracks and cheering after grotesque figures and expert melding of Palmer's shots with the appropriate effects. Just try to watch Harriott talking about sticking bamboo sticks under fingernails while there's a close up of his assistant cutting squishy raw chicken without shivering. To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.
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