I can’t resist passing along this advertising campaign from AT&T. Each of the seven images below conveys a powerful message by showcasing hand positions painted to reflect icons of diverse cultures. (Altogether there are about 30 such images, by Guido Daniele; find them here.) Show your kids as an example of creativity amidst vibrancy of color, culture and symbolism all using the grace and power of a human hand. The pictures are so alluring that the showcased phone seems a mere secondary object amidst the simple elegance, or shear genius of the display. I also noted that you can’t tell what race or nationality, or even in most cases, gender the hands belong to. They’re just people. For the corporation picking this message, at a minimum they’re saying “global is good” – and this message pays off. We’re hungry for it. I’m not alone in loving this campaign. In a contest sponsored by the Magazine Publishers of America consumers voted it their favorite ad.
If you’re getting tired of standard face painting at the next school fair you might want to try something along these lines, or let this inspire an upcoming art project, whether it’s re-purposing familiar objects (like hands or even chairs or pencils), telling a story through hand shadow puppetry, depicting a favorite culture you might paint on your own hands (or feet or tummies or faces), or demonstrating the power of art to inspire, unite, and captivate. You also could discuss the power of communication tools to connect cultures, or think of other objects which could replace the phone, from cultural icons like foods and handicrafts to other technologies, as well as painting other symbols that might be instantly associated with various cultures. At the very least, enjoy – together.