Peace through Polaroids Antiwar Campaign
Problem: A political campaign was needed to create public awareness about the war and cause empathy for individuals affected by it. The campaign catered to American citizens who take public transportation or bike to work. The goal was to make citizens aware of the devastating effects of the war in Afghanistan and its repercussions throughout society.
Solution: The concept was to create a campaign that gives visuals of the brutality and unfairness occurring overseas because of the devastating war in Afghanistan by using non-traditional guerrilla advertising tactics. The campaign’s aim was to draw out the emotions of those viewing it by giving personal accounts of individuals who have been affected by the war. The goal was to make the viewers feel as if they have a connection or tie to one of the people pictured, leading them to strive to make a difference and do their part in stopping the war. The advertising tactic used was a progressive curtain campaign that revealed new Polaroids each week as the campaign, Peace through Polaroids, progressed. This method was employed to incite curiosity and exploration in the target audience and compel them to seek out additional information about how the war is affecting U.S. soldiers and the Afghan citizens. All photos and information on the backs of the Polaroids came from true stories of those affected by the war. These true stories added to the personal tie an individual could have made to the person in the photograph. The one thing each Polaroid had in common was the sentence in all caps: “THIS NEEDS TO STOP”. The campaign began with a single Polaroid photo of a young soldier killed at war, and the backside of the photo was an account written by his brother who fought in the war with him. The Polaroid was hung with masking tape on a telephone pole near a busy intersection. The photo was left there alone for a week, and then four more photos were hung next to the original photo, providing potential viewers with four more personal accounts. These five Polaroids stayed for a week until another thirteen were added, making a total of eighteen photos, which were then left for another week before removal.