Lennon and new wife Yoko Ono at first bed-in, staged at Amsterdam Hilton (Photo: Getty Images)

Top Ten Creative Campaigns | Honeymoon “bed-in” for peace | 1969

by Victoria Mitchell. New Statesman

The former member of the Beatles John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, recognised the value of press attention that was focused on their nuptials and exploited this to petition for world peace.

The couple drew attention to the cause by spending two weeks in bed, the first at the Hilton in Amsterdam and the second at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

It was at the second bed-in that the song “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded.

One of the lasting achievements of the protest, the song was an anthem for the anti-Vietnam war movement.

It has gone on to become an anthem for world peace and has been covered by a wide range of artists, including Elton John, Louis Armstrong and Aerosmith.

The attention-grabbing value of a bed-in as a method of protest ensured its replication worldwide.

In 2009 youths commemorating the 29th anniversary of Lennon’s assassination staged a bed-in to voice concerns about climate change during the Copenhagen climate change summit. In October 2010, the One Movement Music Festival hosted a bed-in to mark what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday.

Next Creative Campaign: PETA | 1981 to present

Previous Creative Campaign: Afrobeat | 1960s-1980s

Top Ten Creative Campaigns

Posted by Susannah Butter and Victoria Mitchell – 27 January 2011 12:26

In this week’s New Statesman, Laurie Penny goes inside the student movement and finds a group battling to find new methods of resistance. Elsewhere, Samira Shackle meets the leaders of UK Uncut and Jody McIntyre, who was tipped out of his wheelchair by police officers at a recent demonstration, says protesters should fear for their safety.

Here we feature ten other creative campaigns for change. Please feel free to comment on our inclusions, and to point to anything or any campaigns that you feel we might have missed.

1. Afrobeat | 1960s-1980s
2. Honeymoon “bed-in” for peace | 1969
3. PETA | 1981 to present
4. Fathers 4 Justice | 2003
5. Avaaz.org | 2007
6. WWF Parisian Pandas | 2008
7. Paris protests against university reforms | 2009
8. Greenpeace scales Mount Rushmore | 2009
9. French Farmers Union | 2010
10. Stony Stratford Library| 2011

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