work for idle hands?

These ads are quite cute, an exiting new media. Nobody seems to have thought of advertising in the gutter before, even though we keep our minds there most of the time. ... Or have they?

The above trio was made by Michael Conrad Leo Burnett GmbH in Frankfurt. Now I can't remember all the award rules, or rather deadlines dates by heart, but this trio of ads won One Show Bronze 2003 and Cannes Lions Bronze for the campaign too. It has to have run a little earlier in the previous year/spring so that it can be eligible for the One show - since the One show is held in early May. It's sleek with the simple lines: "Wrong Color" "Wrong Faith" and "Wrong Opinion" signed the sender: Amnesty.



These ads, which appeared in gutters of Strøget the pedestrian street in Copenhagen were made by Young and Rubicam. I can't recall the exact copy, just that it wrote the viewer on the nose a little with some long sentence explaining; 'kids get jailed in countries far away. Unicef', or the likes.

This one I'm sure I know when it ran as I broke a heel on one of these hands (kidding) these were definitely up for a few days around the first week of November 2002 in Copenhagen Denmark. www.y& confirms this date.

This is your cue to either laugh heartily or play guess who was first, with some detective work you might find an older gutter ad too.

A little birdie told me the Y&R ad was one of the seven marked "questionable" at this year's Danish ad award, the Guldkorn.

It wasn't disqualified though, and neither were any of the other ads. I believe someone had to get rid of a shipload of dolls' hands. Perhaps an out-of-work adman who found them on eBay?


Update! 27-06-2003 The Leo Burnett ads were indeed made before the Y&R ads, this has been confirmed and they have kindly sent us a much better image.


The Leo Burnett campaign - seen above in all its glory, was on the streets of Frankfurt by September 28 2002.

They had been in talks with their client Amnesty since July. Below is the campaign as featured in a german magazine at the time. It wasn't just hand in grates alone, nearby Amnesty International people were ready to answer questions, take donations, and had petitions ready to sign.

The campaign launched on a Saturday when many people come into Frankfurt for a stroll and some shopping.

Who did the cool and lifelike hands?

Not eBay, but the Trickfilmstudio clay art scopas, Frankfurt.

The team behind the award-winning Amnesty campaign was Caroline Krieger (Account Director), Hans-Jürgen Kämmerer (Art) and Robert Junker (Text), at Amnesty the campaign was handled by Jürgen Krautwald and Ralph Meier.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

It just shows me there is no limit to what an agency can copy. Some creatives cannot help themselves not to look over other people's shoulders. And that's bad coming from an agency like Leo Burnett.

What to say more? Shame Michael Conrad & Thieves, Bravo Y&R Copenhagen.

Dabitch's picture

Don't rah anyone yet - It's not clear when the German ones were made. Copenhagen November 2002 - yes, that makes it eligable for the May 2003 One show awards - in fact it might be a tad late in it's running date.

Meaning: One show awarded german ad could very well have been done in August 2002. Or September. Or heck, November, even!

Anyone who knows when the german one actually ran, rather than when it was awarded is welcome to pipe up.

anonymous's picture

It was quite a hot day last year in September when I fell over the Amnesty International Event while I was on walk through the inner city of Frankfurt in Germany. So it was probably Y&R who sort of had the same idea

blabla's picture

I suspected that as the images from Frankfurt don't look November wet - rather sunny instead - but the images from Copenhagen do. (nobody wears knee-high socks and skirt in November do they?)

Sport's picture

Wow, somebody's got some 'splaining to do.

Dabitch's picture

There is a big trend in hands and bars these days, probably due to the political climate, but everybody is doing it. Couple that with gutter drains and the all hail "new" media spaces, and you were bound to have this happen. Sorta like leggings had to happen in the 80's and be revived again now.

Kidding aside, I'd much like to know how these twins came about. The same idea can happen but this is downright spooky.

Neaner's picture

This is just weird how similar they are. Was the Danish y&r team on placement at Leo Burnett or something?

Dabitch's picture

somehow, somewhere there was a surge in our collective unconscious.....

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