EVEN WORDS CAN KILL

Nigger. Terrorist. Thief. Fatty. Four words, four insults which hit hard like a blow to the head. Whispered or shouted they can wound people more than we might imagine.

23 OCTOBER 2014, MILAN

This is a campaign created by Armando Testa to sensitise the whole population, and particularly the young, about the issue of racism and discrimination.

An unusual point of view, using the words which are the easiest way to discriminate. Words which are often treated lightly, heard at home, out in the street, and repeated at school, in sports stadiums at the traffic lights...

The visual, featuring four subjects, shows a close-up of a black man, a man of Arabic origin, a Rom woman and a young person who is overweight.

Their skulls are perforated by what might be interpreted as a bullet, but in fact it is a word, entering from the left and then coming out on the right, and then shattering which shows the destructive power of an insult, racial prejudice or discriminatory irony.

The text highlights the meaning of the campaign: “Anche le parole possono uccidere” (Even words can kill) No to discrimination, the other person is just like me.

The campaign, with creative direction from Vincenzo Celli and Dario Anania, art Cristina Macchi, copy by Vincenzo Celli, is powerful, impactful and provocative. It describes, from the inside, the pain that many people experience when they are considered different. With just one impactful and essential image, a key visual in perfect Armando Testa style, it tells the story of how many of the marginalised exist, attacked by prejudice and by the guilty superficiality of many people, as is sadly shown by many news story, even recent ones.

The “Words can kill” campaign, with the support of the Chamber and the Senate of the Republic, came about as a result of a valuable social partnership between Armando Testa and Famiglia Cristiana, who were also enthusiastically joined by Avvenire and Fisc, as well as a good number of non-profit organisations which support the initiative and will play their part by publicising it on the web, in schools, in church halls, and in community centres.

The objective of “Words can kill” is to be the first of a number of initiatives, collected under the concept #migliorisipuò, aiming to promote quality social communication, which over time will tackle issues of public importance and promote new social awareness and sensibility, stimulating change.

The project was created by the Armando Testa Unit dedicated to social responsibility, and stands out because all the partners involved have contributed free of charge. The agency offers its creativity and professionalism. Famiglia Cristiana, Avvenire and Fisc offer ad space and a wholehearted editorial support, to ensure that the advertising initiative can give rise to a fertile debate, even involving the general public.

Execution and sites were developed by the Cooperativa sociale Pensieri e Colori, working in the field of communication and in parallel also getting people in difficulty back into work. Post production of the images were managed with the painstaking contribution from Marco Pignatelli and Danilo Giovannini.

Speaking about the project Marco Testa, Chairman of the Armando Testa Group: “Since its foundation, Armando Testa has tried to make a voluntary contribution to social communication, by supporting projects and associations. It is part of the mission of a communication agency to promote effective ideas that, respect values and become important tools for change. That is why I asked our Corporate Social Responsibility Unit to develop social communication projects, so that we personally can make a contribution to social values precisely in the field we know best.

That’s how we created #migliorisipuò, an ambitious project with Famiglia Cristiana which, not only backed the idea, but also worked to extend it to other partners and to offer considerable editorial support, a contribution of inestimable worth.”

Marco Testa continues: “We hope that the social messages that we are sending out to Italians will be a stimulus for everyone to contribute to changing the society we live in for the better. And if we speak about social communication then Italy really needs quality campaigns. We have approached this work with same commitment that we have for our best clients”.

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About Armando Testa

We are the biggest independent italian communication group founded in 1946 by Armando Testa the internationally most famous italian creative.

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