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Using Mahatma Gandhi to sell mobile phones

What if a great man of the last century - Gandhi, say had had access to the communications networks of our age when he made one of his most important speeches? The result is 'Telecom Italia Gandhi', an astonishing 60-second spot that has just started airing in Italy. In fall 2004 Telecom Italia released a commercial using Gandhi's feature and exerpts of his speech at the Inter-Asian Relations Conference, New Delhi, 1947.

Imagine the world today if he could have communicated like this

The ad features Mahatma Gandhi giving a speech from a village hut in India. This ad file is a 60 seconds video done entirely in streaming Flash Video and can be viewed here(Flash) or here(Quicktime)

See ad details here.You can even buy this ad on a CD. Or Watch the commercial here.

Using a brilliant blend of real archive footage and sound in combination with specially shot material, 'Telecom Italia Gandhi' shows Gandhi repairing to a simple hut, where he seats himself and begins to deliver his 'One World' speech - a message of universal brotherhood and love. The biggest single challenge facing the team was the creation of the Times Square crowd and environment. Two hundred extras became thousands, and Gandhi's face was placed above them all.

This is not the first incidence where Mahatma Gandhi, revered as the Father of the Nation, is used in advertising. See Marketing the Mahatma. Earlier, a court in India has criticised the organisers of a fashion show for displaying a picture of Mahatma Gandhi on the back of a model's outfit. I hope Tushar Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson) is not listening. Tushar wants to prevent the "inappropriate" use of Gandhi's name or image in advertising.

Creative Team behind Telecom Italia: 'Gandhi'
Agency Young & Rubicam, Milan
Client Telecom Italia