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UNICEF Smurf Bombing
Smurf bombs away! The UN bombed the Smurf Village. Why were The Smurfs killed by United Nations? Watch the uncensored video of when the Smurfs get bombed!
Did UNICEF bomb the Smurf Village?

Yes. The intention was to create an advertisement that would shock and motivate viewers about a political cause - child soldiers. The reality was that Belgian viewers saw an advertisement which featured bombs destroying the Smurf Village and setting it aflame.

The text at the end of the advertisement reads, "Laat oorlog de wereld von de kinderen niet verwoesten." which translates roughly to "Do not let war destroy the children of the world", or "Don't let war affect the lives of children".

But what about the effect on children who see the ad itself?

Watch the UN Bomb the Smurfs Video

In October 2005, a 30-second advertising spot was broadcast during evening television by UNICEF. The idea was to draw attention to the tragedy of war known as "child soldiers". Child soldiers are, as the name implies, children that are forced or conscripted into military service. At the time, UNICEF was trying to raise $150,000 to rehabilitate Burundi child soldiers. Children who are forced to be soliders face enormous difficulties adjusting to a normal life - learn more

The core message - the tragedy that child soldiers simply exist in the first place - got lost. The intent of the ad is to shock adult viewers who grew up with the Smurfs into recognizing the plight of these children, and how to help. However, "blowing up the Smurf village" took on a life of its own...

UNICEF Kills the Smurfs
UNICEF Kills the Smurfs
Reaction to UN Smurf Bomb

Reaction was immediate. News spread like wildfire across the internet. The video clip went viral all around the world, and took on a life of its own.

The ad was originally intended to be shown to adults only, in Belgium, once on TV. But people could watch it over and over, all around the world, out of context, on the internet. So much of the intent was lost that many people who were unfamiliar with the Smurfs simply watched to see little blue people "blown up".

Newspapers, like the Orange County Register, provided succinct comic analysis of the situation, as seen on the picture to the left.

Smurf Village Bombed by UN
UNICEF Bombs the Smurfs
United Nations' Response

The United Nations responded by issuing a FAQ, which states the obvious, that the "advertisement is not intended for children". The ad was made to be viewed by adults in Belgium - and certainly not children.

Outside of the intended audience, the ad was simply misunderstood.

The only goal of the UN and IMPS was to help children in need.

Although shocking, the bombing of the Smurf village does underscore an important point - children are the most defenseless victims of war, and we must do all that we can to protect them. Using our innocent friends the Smurfs in this ad underscores how sad, tragic and pointless war is. It shows the emotional and physical costs, both external, and just as importantly, internal.

Discuss the United Nations Bombing of the Smurfs...

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