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DDB WWF Tsunami Twin Towers Ad – Powerful or Despicable?


DDB Brasil in an attempt to get an ad called “Tsunami” for the World Wildlife Fund into major award shows ran it once in a small Sao Paulo newspaper a few months ago. A blogger unearthed the ad in the One Show’s online archive and posted it on his blog and you can click on the ad above to see it in detail.  The subject matter drew immediate and severe reactions for obvious reasons.  Shortly after a video version of ad also surfaced which can be seen below.

Both WWF-Brasil and DDB Brasil have said the ad “never should have been created, approved or run” and it is unclear of the video was created by the agency or not. I have my opinion of the ads but I want to know if you think that ads create a powerful visual that gets the message across and makes you pay attention or goes despicably over the line? Put your thoughts in the comments!


Since I first write this article I wanted to add two additions to the story.

First, is that DDB is actively erasing all copies of the commercial and ad from every major site they can get their hands on and I have had to replace the video several times. If you find this article and video is broken searching for ‘wwf tsunami ad’ in Yahoo! Video will probably point you in the right direction.

Second I want to applaud the actions taken by The One Club today to punish and agency or creative team who enter “ads made or run without a client’s approval, and ads created expressly for award shows that are run once to meet the requirements of a tear sheet.” Their punishment has teeth as violating agencies and entire team credited on the entry will be banned from the show for 5 years.

1 Comment

  1. Sara Leitheiser

    January 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Horribly over the line! 9-11 was a terrorist attack that shut down our country. The emotional scar is far to great to run an ad like this! The tsunami was horrible too, but it was a natural disaster that can not be controlled. The emotional connection is very different between the two tragedies and should be treated as such.

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