Amnesty International: Concept, design and realization of the “Toast to Freedom” website for “50 Years of Amnesty” anniversary.

Amnesty International | 2013 | Amnesty International - Toast To Freedom


It had been 50 years since the 3 million strong Amnesty International started its worldwide fight against human rights violations.

For their anniversary, guitarist Carl Carlton and the founder of Art for Amnesty, Bill Shipsey, thought of a special birthday present: a specially composed song for Amnesty recorded by over 50 musicians from around the world. Various music legends supported the idea, significantly Eric Burdon, Levon Helm, Ewan McGregor, Marianne Faithfull, Kris Kristofferson, Jane Birkin, Gentleman and many more.

We were entrusted with the concept and realization of the website, which would form the core of this project. Each sale would benefit Amnesty.

Our work

We conceptualized the information structure for the anniversary website “Toast to Freedom” and coordinated between the national organizations of Amnesty around the globe. We sketched several different design variations and implemented them in the Amnesty website for eight languages using WordPress, a free Content Management System. Depending on the origin of each visitor, nation-specific Amnesty news as well as donating and purchase links were automatically integrated via RSS feeds.

We created a mobile website for optimal smartphone browsing as well. In order to ensure the viral potential we created an area containing exclusive bonus content, which can be automatically accessed when sharing the site on Facebook or Twitter. The activities were flanked by a song contest in which every user was able to record his own version of the anniversary song and to participate in a poll determining the winner using Facebook Likes, thus ensuring the best possible site virality.

Furthermore, we developed a Facebook Page that functions as a portrait of the company’s central milestones using multimedia in the Timeline. To flexibly handle the unpredictable traffic-peaks during the appearance at the ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ we chose and set up an easily scalable Cloud Hosting solution on Amazon Web Services (AWS).


The website was launched with great success and integrated into each homepage of Amnesty International’s national organizations. By using the automatically generated links, depending on the country, we were able to assign the income gained by the song’s sales to each respective country. Based on this success Amnesty decided to entrust us with follow-up projects as well.

Amnesty International – Toast To Freedom
Amnesty International – Toast To Freedom artists
Amnesty International – Toast To Freedom artists Ewan McGregor

"Art for Amnesty worked with CREATIVE CONSTRUCTION on our Amnesty International 50th Anniversary 'Toast to Freedom' song project. This was a ground breaking project for Amnesty International.

CREATIVE CONSTRUCTION were quite simply superb both in terms of creative input and execution. Nothing was too much trouble and they were available to us 24/7 to help us to meet our deadlines. They were ‘Grand’."

Bill Shipsey

Founder Art for Amnesty