Telecom Italia Transmits Gandhi Message

As Italy celebrates the FIFA 2006 World Cup, maybe it’s time to honour the Telecom Italia 2004 television commercial featuring Gandhi’s videocast around the world. The 60 second ad begins with a shot of Gandhi walking into his humble home in India. The camera shows us a web camera on Gandhi’s table, used by him to broadcast his message to people of many nations.

Gandhi in Telecom Italia TV Ad

A crowd in Times Square in New York watch Gandhi speaking on a large screen. A couple sitting on a park bench near the Coliseum in Rome view his message on a mobile phone. In London a group looks on as Gandhi speaks on a lap top screen. In a Chinese street a man listens to the message through his blue tooth head set. On an African plain two men in traditional hunting clothes connect with the message on their lap top, aided by satelite wireless connection. In Red Square, Moscow, another crowd hears the message in their language vi a large digital screen.

The super: “Sa avesse potuto comunicare così oggi che mondo sarebbe? Telecom Italia. Comunicare E’ vivere.” (What would the world be like if only he could have communicated like this. Telecom Italy. Communicating Is Living).

On the Moscow screen Gandhi bows towards his audience.

Gandhi’s words in the Telecom Italia TV ad:
“If you want to give a message it must be a message of ‘Love’, it must be a message of ‘Truth’. I want to capture your hearts. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I’m saying. A friend asked yesterday, ‘Did I believe in one world?’ How can I possibly do otherwise, of course I believe in one world”.

Gandhi’s Speech

The original speech, given to the Inter-Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi, April 2, 1947, had Gandhi speaking to over 20,000 people:

“I do not think that I should apologize to you, for having to speak in a foreign tongue. I wonder if this loudspeaker carries my voice to the farthest end of this vast audience. Will some of those who are far away will raise their hands if they listen to what I’m saying? Do you listen? Alright. Well, if my voice doesn’t carry, it won’t be my fault, it will be the fault of these loudspeakers…What I want you to understand if you can, that the message of the East, the message of Asia, is not to be learnt through European spectacles, through the Western spectacles, not by imitating the tinsel of the West, the gun-powder of the West, the atom bomb of the West. If you want to give a message again to the West, it must be a message of ‘Love’, it must be a message of ‘Truth’. There must be a conquest [applause], please, please, please. That will interfere with my speech, and that will interfere with your understanding also.
I want to capture your hearts and don’t want to receive your claps. Let your hearts clap in unison with what I’m saying, and I think, I shall have finished my work. Therefore, I want you to go away with the thought that Asia has to conquer the West.
Then, the question that a friend asked yesterday, ‘Did I believe in one world?’ Of course, I believe in one world. And how can I possibly do otherwise, when I become an inheritor of the message of love that these great un-conquerable teachers left for us?”


The Telecom Italia Gandhi TV spot was created at advertising agency Y&R, Milan, by creative directors Aldo Cernuto and Roberto Pizzigoni, art director Isabella Bernardi, copywriter Marco Cremona, with agency producer Angus MacDonald.

Director Spike Lee worked with director of photography Tom Sigel (Superman Returns DOP) and Italian production company Colorado Film executive producers Fabrizio Don Vito and Marco Conen. Filming was shot in Rome over six days, with two days on location and four days in the studio.

Post production was done by Framestore staff, including VFX Supervisor Tim Osborne, Flame Artist Stephane Allender, Inferno Artist Nick Bennett, 3D Animators Howard Sly, Chris Syborn, TK Operator Steffan Perry, and Producer Stuart Robinson.

Music by Lisa Gerrard

Duality CD at Amazon.comThe music used during the Telecom Italia Gandhi TV ad is ‘The Sacrifice”, performed by Lisa Gerrard (formerly lead singer with Dead Can Dance) and instrumentalist Pieter Bourke. The track is featured on their 1998 album, Duality, as well as on Gerrard’s soundtrack for The Insider. Gerrard was also responsible for the soundtrack for Whalerider.

Download Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke Sacrifice – Duality on iTunes