In the mid-nineties the Belgian arm of the United Nations Children’s Fund engaged in a publicity campaign to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Burundi – both former Belgian colonies. Perhaps the most infamous part of that campaign was a PSA depicting the smurf village being bombed into smithereens, complete with dead and dying smurfs and even a howling Baby smurf deprived of its caregivers. The Smurfs was one of Belgium’s most beloved children’s cartoons, but the video was aimed at parents, not their kids. Thus, it was only shown after nine PM.The shock tactics worked: According to the United Nations, visits to the campaign website and calls to the organization increased when the video aired.
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