UNICEF's scorched Smurf policy
The advertisement on Belgian television (image courtesy of Večernji list) was meant to raise funds for a UNICEF program for child soldiers in Burundi. It began with an idyllic scene of the popular childrens' animated characters the Smurfs in their village. And it continued with a surprise air raid on the village leaving destruction, death, and an orphaned Smurf child. Belgian UNICEF spokesperson Philippe Henon told media that the purpose of the campaign was to shock viewers and provoke a reaction. No doubt it succeeded in that, but any advertiser will tell you that getting the attention of viewers is only the first job in getting a message across.