Marcel Paris for – Take a Stand against the death penalty

The death penalty is one of the most contested actions across the globe. Marcel Paris created a campaign for that encourages to people to take a stand against the death penalty, quite literally. At the National Library of France, two screens face one another. On one screen, stands a soldier and on the other stands a victim of the death penalty. In between, a sticker on the floor serves as the “take a stand” platform for passersby.

The association, Together Against the Death Penalty, was facing an efficiency problem with petitions in the street. Many people, even pro-abolition, hesitated to sign because they believed it wouldn’t be acted upon. How can we make people aware that they can make a difference ?
To confront bystanders to the reality of the death penalty, we installed two screens broadcasting a video of an imminent execution. A sticker invited passers-by to stand between the screens. When they did so, the film changed: the soldier lowered his rifle and the convicted person lifted up his head again. Our goal was to encourage people to sign a petition for the worldwide abolishment of the death penalty. They could do it through a simple QR code.

A symbolic place: The Francois Mitterrand National Library, named after the president who abolished the death penalty in France 30 years ago.
Awareness: Confronting passers-by with a realistic implementation can make them aware of a very real and current problem.
A call to action: By giving people a strong experience (ending the performance by physically intervening) and encouraging them to concretely take a stand by signing a petition against the death penalty.

– More than 8,000 signatures collected within a month.
– 3 out of 10 people shared the petition on Facebook.
– 15% more new Facebook fans (during the following month).
– 18% more awareness thanks to blogs, newspapers and magazines.
– The petition is still available on and grows in numbers everyday.

Advertising Agency: Marcel, Paris, France
Art Director: Souen Le Van
Copywriter: Martin Rocaboy
Executive Creative Director: Veronique Sels, Anne De Maupeou, Sebastien Vacherot
Director/Film: Guillaume Couret
Year: 2011