We’ve heard over and over that what separates humans from animals is the ability to feel emotions like compassion, and the subsequent ability to make a conscious choice whether or not to act on such emotions.
But maybe this is something we share with animals — not only that; just maybe they are better at it than we are.
Not many PSAs or non-profit promos ask viewers to devolve in order to tap into their inherent kindness and concern for others, but this spot by F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi for Operação Sorriso (Operation Smile) —a group that funds reconstructive surgeries for children with cleft lip — asks us to do just that, in a powerful and hard-to-ignore way.
The ad, inspired by a scientific study at Duke that explored the ancestral nature of empathy, shows two apes meeting for the first time in a lab. While one is locked in a cage, the other is allowed free reign of the room and is given a large plate of food. At first, the free ape begins to indulge in the treats, but as soon as its caged counterpart expresses some distress, the first ape takes a break from its feast to free the other one — and then shares the food.
“We were once all apes,” says the copy. “Those were the days.” Read more