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  • Writer's pictureChris Luffingham

The Power of the Perfect Image (and Getting the Leg Work Done)

You often hear campaigners talk about the power of images and how the “perfect” image can amplify the campaign. Which is true. It can and they do. But it is not everything.


If you haven’t thought about how you are going to deliver that image and get it in front of the people that you need to convince, then the best image in the world is not going to do that work for you. Sure, it makes the process of dissemination much easier, but to rely on the viral masses to do your work is only going to result in disappointment.


The example I have used here is one of my favourite campaign images of recent years. It is, for me, an almost perfect campaign concept but it is also probably one that you have not come across.

Its coverage was surprisingly limited and was only reported on a few times. It shows three figures with nooses around their necks strung up on a hangman’s gallows in the afternoon sun. The only thing preventing their fall and hanging are the blocks of ice they are stood on.


That you have likely not seen the image is perhaps not all that surprising when you learn it was made by a group of art students.


Their creative thinking has produced a sublime image that at once captures and resonates. It communicates on many different levels. Had this been produced by one of the climate charities it would have received much more attention. They would have ensured that communications channels were fully exploited to get the image out to as many people as possible. Probably ensuring that the image was released at the moment of a broader campaign initiative, lined up associated press releases and spokespeople on standby for media calls.


But this proves the point. You can have the perfect image, but if you don’t put the legwork into the communications support structures you need to get it out there, it will likely fall into obscurity much faster than you think.


Hats off to these students. I really hope they got the rewards they deserve for this excellent piece of work.


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