UNICEF Billboards Use Natural Silhouettes to Shed Light On Domestic Violence

UNICEF Billboards Use Natural Silhouettes to Shed Light On Domestic Violence

A small cutout figure shines a larger light on an important social issue in this day-to-night ad.

Tiffany Nesbit
  • 16 july 2014

One of the great things about advertisements is how they have evolved from just selling products into a platform for social issues, and few issues are more prevalent than domestic violence. In the past, an artist has transformed Barbies into domestic violence victims and a fashion designer used battered mannequins in her storefront to shed light on the problem, but these tactics, like the large majority, are focused on domestic violence against women. So far little has been offered to enlighten the public about the effects of domestic violence against children, a large problem even in industrialized nations.

According to Child Help, each year there are more than three-million child abuse cases reported in the United States, involving more than six-million children, resulting in four-to-seven fatalities a day. While people generally think of home as a place where one can relax and feel safe, many children wait in terror for their parents to come home each day. This is the subject of a new UNICEF billboard that uses a small cutout to make a big impact.


By day, the UNICEF billboard shows a child hunched over in the left-hand corner covering her face. Unless you are right in front of the billboard you won’t likely see the miniature cutout of a human silhouette at the bottom right. As the sun starts to set and street lights come on in the evening, the shadow casted by the cutout grows in size, until it falls upon the right side of the billboard, making it appear as if an oppressor has a hand raised towards the child.

Though the advertisement is simple, its strategically placed silhouette makes a huge statement. There are child victims of domestic violence and they deserve as much or an audience and support as any other kind of victim.


[h/t] Adeevee

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