Rate The Ad: OMD: March Against FARC

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Last week's redux of Harry Nilsson for Aussie phone brand Telstra drew both cheers and jeers from viewers in Rate The Ad-land. Spectrum enjoyed the soothing qualities of the song, saying "there are so many shock ads trying to get your attention it was pleasantly unexpected to simply see/hear a message without a jolt of some kind." Lfalcao broke it down a bit more: "This tune brings back ancestral memories, so it provokes a warm feeling even before you start paying attention to lyrics. Besides, these are quite well achieved, keeping the original vowels in place so that the sense of "déjà heard" remains. Thumbs up on an excellent piece of work, in a sector where people are going crazy with gimmicks and forgetting the basics."

And the detractors? Well, two notable critics struck out at the efficiency of the modern lifestyle. "Nothing makes me smile like being on the phone from the moment I walk out the door 'til the moment I slip some Jack Daniels into my kid's apple juice to knock him out," writes Rrrandrsf. "Life is good." Sydney2 notes "they still didn't have enough time to cook themselves dinner." Meanwhile, Billow sees a look-a-like in the on-the-go actor. "Any ad with Ryan Seacrest is a winner in my book."

This week brings a piece of work both timely and imaginative. To promote yesterday's march against the Colombian rebel group FARC, Sancho BBDO Colombia teamed up with Omnicom's media arm and chained actors to bus stops along with posters urging passers-by "Since you can do it, go out and march against FARC." The characters represent a farmer, a policeman and Ingrid Betancourt, a crusading Colombian senator kidnapped by the FARC in 2002 and believed to be near death.

The protest appears to have been successful, buoyed by recent tensions between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela over a Colombian military strike at FARC leadership nestled in neighboring Ecuadorian territory.

But what do you think? Do extreme situations call for such displays, or is crossing the line to literal communication an admission of failure in delivering a message via graphic arts? Check out the work and let us know.
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