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Death to the death penalty  

Death to the death penalty and Wanda

on Amnesty International  

"Marvin Wilson was executed in Texas on 7 August for a murder committed in 1992, despite evidence of his intellectual disability (his IQ went not higher than 61) as reported by Amnesty International. The organization described the event as " unconstitutional and highly disturbing".

Amnesty International is against the death penalty unconditionally. For it, the death sentence is "the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment". To enter the debate, MadClocks.com would like to present two advertising spots made for Amnesty International on the matter.

The first of the two spots, created by the Belgium and Brussels-based advertising agency Air presents crucial moments of the execution of Wanda Jean Allen. The woman was executed in Oklahoma in 2001. Like Marvin Wilson, she was also diagnosed with a low IQ and became a symbol for protestors of the death penalty. A documentary was shot by filmmaker Lyz Garbus showing the last three months of her life.

The Wanda Jean Allen spot was one of the spot Air created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International (MadClocks.com highly recommends to have a look to the other ones too!). It won an Eurobest Bronze Film award for Public Awareness Messages last year. We find the spot very strong in the sense that it shows two extreme moments of the Wanda Jean Allen story: one when Wanda asks the court "please make me live" and the moment of the announcement of her death. A high level of intensity is developed from the opposition in emotions between Wanda Allen begging to live and then the indifference and coldness of the person announcing her dead. Madclocks.com thinks that the magic comes from the idea of Air to separate the two images by the message "Miss Wanda Jean Allen mentally handicapped American Woman regretfully cannot attend the 50 Years of Amnesty International due to her execution by lethal  injection".

The second spot was made by TBWA/Paris for the campaign "death to the death penalty" and targeted the general public as well as decision-makers. Launched in October 2010, the campaign also received awards, among others a Bronze Pencil in 2011 and a bronze Lion award in Cannes. Depicting four different methods of execution still in used today (hanging, beheading, firing squad and the electric chair), the film shows life-like wax figures that melt and collapse. One of the reason of the film's success is how this idea (of the figures melting and collapsing while preceding to the death sanction) is powerfully linked to the campaign's line "death to the death penalty" and the amnesty candle symbol.

Interesting insights on the campaign can be found on thisisnotadvertising.com.

What do you think about the death penalty?

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