The new, slightly kitsch but still serious Amnesty International ads put this admirable organization back onto my radar. During my worthier university days, I used to run the Amnesty “letter-writing lunches” and I can still vividly picture the well-meaning but slightly odd little crowd huddled in a damp and musty Oxford tutorial room, scrawling away multiple letters. In the mix were the ambitious, wannabe human rights lawyers, the peace-loving hippies and the ones who cared a little but mostly wanted a free lunch (we were students after all). No matter what our individual motivations were, we all left those lunches with a trail of crumbs, a pile of envelopes, and the feeling that we had all done our bit for humanity.
Although, in some ways, the slick production and boldness of this new spot feels far removed from those archaic little Oxford gatherings, the graphic novel style and bookish references to historical world events, is exactly the kind of thing that would appeal to that motley crew of letter-writers. Like me, they may just need to see something like this to be reminded of this fantastic organization.