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An Innovative Approach to Holocaust Awareness Raising

Communication Society
January 02, 2013

Can a Madison Avenue inspired advertising campaign help educate the public about the horrors of the Holocaust? For the United States Holocaust Museum, the answer is yes.  With the support of Chicago-based consultant agencyEA, the museum is commemorating its 20th anniversary with a new advertising campaign aimed at educating the public about the museum’s accomplishments and what others can do to help prevent future atrocities from occurring. The initiative represents an innovative approach for a civil society organization to mobilize public awareness. In doing so, it accords with the creative aims of the Holocaust and United Nations Outreach Programme and International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust recognized on January 27th each year.

Taglines such as “What if Hitler had access to the Internet” and “Can we make Never Again more than a promise? Absolutely, Learn How,” are showing up in print and online ads as well as NPR radio announcements to promote a four city tour of free, one-day events consisting of seminars, film screenings and museum exhibitions in Boca Raton (Dec. 9), Los Angeles (Feb.17), New York (March 3) and Chicago (June 9). The New York Times quoted Lorna Miles, chief marketing officer for the United States Holocaust Museum as stating that these four cities were selected because they are “where the population of survivors and World War II veterans are fairly large.” At each event, Holocaust survivors will share their stories and the museum curatorial staff will be available to examine any family artifacts visitors bring. In addition, local survivors and World War II veterans who helped liberate the concentration camps will be recognized in tribute ceremonies.

The innovative advertising campaign and tour follows several more traditional events to support global efforts to prevent future genocides including a November 9-10 discussion at the United Nations Headquarters on the 74th anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht attack against German and Austrian Jews. Regarding the importance of continuing efforts to educate the public about genocide prevention, UN News Service quoted event moderator Ramu Damodaran, DPI Deputy Director of Partnerships and Public Engagement as stating, “Education is an essential tool in defending and promoting human rights, and in combating violence and other atrocities.”

The Holocaust and UN Outreach program and annual January 27th observance of The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust were created at the request by the United Nations General Assembly (resolution 60/7) and adopted on November 1, 2005. For more information about the Holocaust and UN Outreach programme, visit un.org/en/holocaustremembrance. For details about the United States Holocaust Museum advertising campaign and tour, visit neveragain.ushmm.org.


Image: 14th Street Entrance of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Credit: US Holocaust Memorial Museum


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