Matchbox's Tasteless Child Soldier Ads

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Singapore-based ad agency Ogilvy & Mather has completed a series of ads for Matchbox called Young Warriors. It’s a rather frightful experiment with illusion. Young, white boys no older than 5 years old pose with some of the most lethal killing machines now in play in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is militarism at its worst: children piloting machines that kill children and their families (oh yes, and terrorists). Sure, kids play soldier all the time, but they are engaging in imaginative play, not warrior fetishes.

The campaign is crass enough on its own, but a tour of Ogilvy & Mather’s website adds a new layer of revulsion, namely their advice on advertising in a wrecked economy:

The key to success will be understanding the new shopper, brand and retailer. Find out how to create ‘win-win’ shopper marketing solutions and how to turn shoppers into buyers in this recession.

Here’s more of that “win-win” vision made manifest:

(Thanks, Creative Review)

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