Amnesty International Ad Sentences the Death Penalty to... Death

A commercial waxes eloquent about the injustices of capital punishment.

Death-penalty protests don't usually rise to the level of art, and commercials never do, but a beautiful new ad from Amnesty International comes awfully close. Wax figurines of execution devices — of guns, a noose, an electric chair, and the like — melt under the light of the Amnesty International candle. "Death to the death penalty," the tag line goes.

It's a gorgeous, haunting remonstrance (made moreso by piano music that feels so much more appropriate here than in all those gloopy NBA commercials). The figurines look like they're real wax, but they were actually generated almost entirely in CG. Apparently, live statues would've looked too much like stop-motion, meaning, we assume, they wouldn't have melted with the fluidity that makes the commercial so damn eerie.

The brains behind the spot were TBWA Paris and the French digital-art collective Pleix, whose name you might recall because of their video of dogs soaring through the air in slo-mo, which has became something of a Internet sensation. Here's the clip, in all its faintly menacing glory.

Their trademark seems to dark and unsettling stuff: They've projected film of old people's heads attached to body-builder torsos on a medieval church in Paris and produced a film called "Beauty kit for little girls," complete with a breast implant demo alongside the advice, "Don't wait for nature." (Ah, French irony. It's as subtle as the last open button on Bernard Henri Lévy's shirt.) See more of their work here.

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