Read my lips

On one of my favourite TV shows “Have I got news for you”, the panelists end by inventing captions for a range of weekly strange photos. This always induces the giggles in me as while a picture seemingly “may tell a thousand words”, thousands of different captions can be attributed to each picture. In blogging terms – the “perfect” post is one that effortlessly integrates its visual and written content. As such, I have puppy eyes and pawing respect for this campaign by Publicis Brussels, which “gets dictators talking” in a set of print ads from the free-press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders – the QR code sprinkling its rare magic dust.

The campaign basically entertains the curious as those intrigued enough scan the QR code with their iPhones and then place the phone over the leader’s mouth. But all is not as it seems… and far from Gaddafi, Putin and co. gushing about their more-than-controversial policies, a journalist’s voice of wisdom and rigour rings out. The idea being that to establish the “truth”, Reporters Without Borders is your man so to speak – or in this case a well-intentioned moving pair of lips.

In some ways, the mismatch of facial features and an unexpected voice nattering away is quite comical, but I quite like how this novelty and simple portrayal of the message grabs readers’ attention. It presents Reporters Without Borders as a relatable and amicable writing hero, rather than a preaching and over-angelic press group. A QR code done good – who would have thought those words would be uttered from my lips?


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