It takes a lot to shock people out of complacency these days, so UNICEF is trying something a little different in Belgium....
UNICEF said it had concluded that traditional images of suffering in Third World war zones had lost their power to move television viewers.What's this "something"? Since suffering children don't elicit sympathy, they're trying suffering Smurfs.
"It's controversial," a spokesman for UNICEF told the Telegraph. "We have never done something like this before but we've learned over the years that the reaction to the more normal type of campaign is very limited."
UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, has recruited the Smurfs to deliver a blunt message about the plight of child soldiers.The message: Don't let war destroy the world of children.
The campaign advertisement to be broadcast on national television in Belgium begins with the blue-skinned characters romping happily, surrounded by flowers and butterflies and singing their theme song.
Then their village is bombed by warplanes, amid fiery explosions. The bombs kill Smurfette and leave Baby Smurf orphaned and crying.
The spot is considered so chilling it is not to be broadcast before 9 p.m.
You know, that is chilling. How strange and sad that this poster of a dead Smurfette, one shoe missing, should move me more than yet another picture of a child who has lost a limb to war...
Good on UNICEF for thinking outside the box in raising funds to rehabilitate child soldiers in Africa. And good on Pierre "Peyo" Culliford's family for lending the Smurfs to this campaign.
This is the 50th year Canadian children have carried UNICEF boxes with them while Trick-or-Treating... Don't forget to gather up your loose change for October 31.