Have You Seen the Thirsty Black Boy?

by Latoya Peterson

I recently came across the above campaign, produced by Mortierbrigade Brussel, an ad agency in Belgium.

MediaBistro notes:

To attract attention for the cause, a young boy dressed in shorts and a tank top could be seen running into prime time TV shows (live programs, with hosts) only to drink the water that sat in front of the hosts, or their guests. The boy chugged the water and ran off.

In three days, the boy had been on enough programs that a stir was created. In just six days, people donated the equivalent of $5.24 million dollars. Considering the relatively small size of Belgium, that’s no small feat.

The viral piece was meant to highlight the disparaging situation for the 1.1 billion people that don’t have clean water, and the fact a child dies every 15 seconds from a lack of clean water. The agency’s client ‘Music for Life’ and their partner, The Red Cross, did more for clean water in a week than anyone could have imagined.

(It is also interesting to note that Media Bistro took the word “Black” out of the title when reporting the piece.)

Here is the video:

What do you think readers? (Particularly interested in the international perspective.)