AIDS in Africa spread by Human Ball

Médecins Sans Frontières, Belgium, also known as Artzen Zonder Grenzen and Doctors Without Borders, marked Worlds AIDS Day in 2005 with a compelling television commercial highlighting the plight of the African continent. The 45 second animated TV ad begins with an African man knocking over three women with a forward roll. Water jars fall to the ground as the man and women become together a human ball, catching up everyone in its path. By the time it reaches a man scything his harvest, the ball is twice his height. His hut is demolished. In the next scene the human ball is three times the height of the school it demolishes. As the ball approaches a city it comprises thousands of bodies and is the height of a mountain. In the city a woman singing a lullaby to her child is engulfed in the darkness, her voice cut by darkness and silence.

Human Ball in MSF TV ad

The super: “Don’t let AIDS gain more ground”, with a reference to Medecins Sans Frontiers, and the web site, The Dutch version points to Artzen Zonder Grenzen ( Click on the image below to play the video.


THe MSF Human Ball campaign was developed at Duval Guillaume, Brussels, by creative directors Katrien Bottez and Peter Ampe, creatives Tiny Nys and Alexander Chaban, and producers Marc Van Buggenhout and Roxanne Lemaire.

Filming for Human Ball was shot by director Andreas Hasle via Caviar, Brussels, with executive producer Kate Maes and producer Ingrid Maes.

Post production was done at Grid VFX by editor Jan Goosen, animators Frank De Wulf, Jan Ebo, Gerrit Bekers, Bart Devreese, Kristof Indeherberghe, Jan Van Eetvelt, Tim Van Dekerckhove, Stijn Valkenborg, Yannick Vierendeels, Mitchell Smith and Pieter Swusten. Human Ball won a bronze award for animation at the Andy Awards in April 2006.

Zairean-born Belgian singer Marie Daulne of Zap Mama composed and sung the lullaby track specifically for this project.

Check out Zap Mama’s “Adventures in Afropea: Vol.1” at iTunes:

Zap Mama - Adventures in Afropea 1: Zap Mama

Sound studio was Doctor Swing.

Man about to start Human Ball in MSF TV ad

Woman sings lullaby at end of MSF Human Ball TV ad

Human Ball rolls over plain toward city