Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam, Amnesty International Show ‘The Other Side of the Medal’

By Erik Oster 

With the 2016 Rio Olympics two weeks away, Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam launched a campaign for Amnesty International Netherlands designed to show viewers “The Other Side of the Medal.”

After opening on a shot of the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeior, the spot cuts to the back of a young man running as gun shoots off in the air. The message “In Rio, Matheus Silva ran the fastest 100 metres of his life,” appears onscreen, at which point viewers might expect yet another story of an athlete triumphing over adversity. But this isn’t the case. Instead, it shows the young man running away from cops with a group of friends before being shot in the back. The 19-year-old victim, “Killed in 2014. Innocent and unarmed.” was one of the over 2,651 people in the city killed by police violence since the games were awarded to Rio, the majority of which were young black men.

“The police are breaking records in Rio,” the spot concludes, mentioning the over 2,500 people killed by cops in the city in the past seven years and asking viewers to sign a petition calling for an end to police violence in Rio. 

The “#PoliceBreakingRecords” campaign arrives at a time when racism and police violence are still very much on the minds of Americans in the wake of recent shootings, and undoubtedly people in other countries as well. Its parallel between the celebratory nature of the Olympics and police violence in the city is a striking one, and should garner attention for an issue that hasn’t received much attention, but is all too familiar.


“The film is based on a real story, a story of a young man in his prime, who’s life was cut brutally short. A story that touched us,” explained Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam creative director Jacques Massardo. “The events surrounding the shooting closely mirrored to a sprint, connects the world of the Olympics to police violence in a powerful way. Which gives it the potential to do more than just generate awareness, but hopefully also trigger people to take action and sign the petition.”

“Despite the promise that Rio would be a safe Olympic city, the amount of deaths as a result of police bullets increased over the last two years. We ask people all over the world to take action and maximize the pressure on Brazil. The Olympics should be seen as a celebration, not a place for excessive police violence,” added Amnesty International Netherlands campaign coordinator Jan Willem Dol.

Client: Amnesty International Nederland
Account: Pauline Landa (Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam)
Creatives: Djajant Hanenberg, Helen Fernando, Jacques Massardo (Ogilvy & Mather Amsterdam)
Production: DPPLR
Direction: Daniel Dow
Producer: Lotte Kwak
DOP: Aage Hollander
Focus Puller: Justus Engelbracht
Line Production: Soulkitchen
Composition & Sound Design: Audentity
Off-line/colorist: Ruben Labree
Creative Producer: Nils Vleugels
Compositor: Bas Wijers
Production assistant: Titus Vriend
Styling: Nadine Rodenburg
Aerial Cinematography: Ricardo Malaguti
Broadcast/cinemacopies: Captcha!
Camera: Camalot & Camaleón
Bioscoopmasters: Haghefilm Digitaal en Cinemeta
Media Sanoma | SBS, Jan Mineur Mediavision, STER, RTL