Amnesty’s global campaigns

This week I came across a “listicle” on Buzzfeed titled “The Most Powerful Ads Of Amnesty International” ( While I know Buzzfeed isn’t necessarily the most reliable source of information, this article changed m perspective regarding Amnesty International’s outreach programs. Prior to seeing this, my only exposure to Amnesty has been through the branch at UT, which is geared more towards grassroots activism. However, their bigger sort of umbrella campaigns are extremely compelling. I even recognized some upon seeing this article, but I never knew they were launched by Amnesty. There is almost a shock value to these campaigns, portraying facts in a way that resonates within the audience. For example, to convey their opposition to the death penalty, Amnesty released a photo of Ruben Cantu’s last meal. In small text in the bottom of the picture, Cantu is identified as a victim of the death penalty who was proven to be innocent of the crime years after his death. This representation of injustice is haunting to the audience and it does not even bend the truth. The majority of Amnesty’s campaigns follow suite, leaving the audience to typically feel too uncomfortable to remain complacent. This framework for the message is relatively unique within the sector of human rights organizations, which is interesting. Amnesty’s tactics have proven to be successful and other groups, such as Human Rights Watch and World Wildlife Fund, seem to capture the same visual framework but are missing out on the rhetorical frame. At a glance, other groups’ campaign ads look similar, with a big dramatic picture and a brief but sharp text to drive the point home. However, other groups tend to use a subjective approach within their text while Amnesty tends to stick with objectivity. This is a major reason as to why Amnesty International’s campaign ads are unique.



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