Sandy Hook Promise: Evan

Taking a bit of a break now from the happier more upbeat ads I’ve looked at in the past, but not so controversial as last weeks post, to look at a very well done awareness campaign. This is one that I’ve wanted to talk about for quite a few weeks now but it’s so much easier for me to just natter on about the lighter adverts, especially over the Christmas period. I referenced this video not so long ago when contributing to pitch ideas at work as it’s a simple but brilliant technique. Since this isn’t the best subject for you to read about I promise that I will show you something next week that will make you laugh.

Now this is going back a little bit to 2016 but going back a little further to 2012 some of you may remember the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in America. Well after the incident a group, Sandy Hook Promise, was formed by some of the families that lost their loved ones that day. This video was created by BBDO New York as part of their ‘Know The Signs’ program.

Without the context I just gave you that’s pretty unexpected, right? We all get a little hooked into Evan’s story as that’s what the video draws our attention to, making us all the more shocked when the shooter comes in. For the first minute or so there is no dialogue while we just focus on Evan and it’s not until he signs a girl’s yearbook and finds out her friend is the girl he has been leaving messages for that dialogue is introduced. The sudden addition of dialogue gains even more of our attention and sharing this happy moment with Evan helps to grow this connection with him. We are given a moment of realisation of what’s about to happen to the characters, making us scared before we even hear the screams. Luckily that’s as far as the video goes.

Through on screen text the video tells us how this shouldn’t be a surprise, people don’t just commit these unspeakable acts out of nowhere, there are warning signs that can be spotted, if we just pay attention. We are then shown the signs we missed like a movie mistakes show. The technique here is used so well, simply restarting Evan’s story but only showing us the parts we need to see highlighting the signs the shooter gives us.

Finishing the video with the on screen text: “Gun violence is preventable when you know the signs” just hammers the message home.

I think if I went to school in America around the time and I saw this I would be quite paranoid watching everyone. Really I think this PSA is just reminding us not to dismiss the signs so lightly and to actually take action. This certainly achieves its aim at raising awareness of gun violence and how to prevent it.

I hope you have enjoyed my brief look into Sandy Hook Promise’s Evan. As always, I would love to see your comments below and I’m always up for a discussion on any of my blog topics if you want to drop me a message via LinkedIn or Instagram.

Featured image courtesy of BBDO Worldwide.


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