The Art and Anthropology of Advertising
Keep Children Alive
Aids is an epidemic in Africa and the cruelest aspect of the tragedy is that children are born with Aids. This is a humanitarian effort to raise money to buy aids drugs in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Sting is shown bare-chested to emphasize his whiteness, he wears what may be an African Amulet around his neck, and his face is painted like that of a warrior. Notice that the colour of the war paint matches that of the headline – tying thought, and image together
I AM AFRICAN. Help us stop the dying. Pay for life saving drugs that can help keep a child, mother, father, a family alive. Visit: www.keepchildrenalive.org”
Celebrities can use their fame to bring attention to important causes; Bono, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie are others who have been influential in bringing attention and raising money for relief projects. Here is a very white man demonstrating that we are all part of a common humanity by declaring himself to be spiritually what the colour of his skin belies.
Brotherhood. The music Sting makes, and his fans enjoy, has roots in African music. At first glance the contradiction of the image and the headline surprise us, but then draws us in. Taken together they can be reconciled by all those who can align themselves as socially responsible.
I care and feel for the suffering of others.
All those who are socially conscious but need to be reminded that there is something they can do. Those who reflect on this ad will recognize that this is a matter of saving children, mothers, fathers, entire families and provides inspiration and the mechanism: the web address.