Humanitarian branding and the media; the case of Amnesty International.

Vestergaard, A. (2008). Humanitarian branding and the media; the case of Amnesty International. Journal of language and politics, 7(3), 471-493
This article explores how NGO’s work in their field of tension between the need for visibility and a greater dependence on media and their public’s skepticism with the existing ‘compassion fatigue’. According to the author, NGO’s have to re-brand themselves to find a new legitimate meaning of the organization that reaches beyond compassion. To see if this would work, a Danish Amnesty International tv spot was used, in which AI didn’t represent itself as usual, by showing people in need and asking the public for donations. Instead it used different film and news genres and took 9 scenes, in which the speaker doesn’t speak of ‘us’ but as ‘they’, so that the public sees the report as more objective. The commercial doesn’t directly make clear what it means or wants, neither asks to donate immediately. This is a way to reach beyond compassion fatigue and take away some of the public’s skepticism.