Insights & Opinions… from the MAC4 team.

Taking a Closer Look: The Brilliance of the Sandy Hook Promise PSA

mac4-whatwedoRecently, the Sandy Hook Promise Group – a gun violence prevention organization formed as a result of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting – released a PSA that is so creative and clever that it has the Internet buzzing.

“Evan” – created by BBDO New York, shows the developing high school romance between a boy and a girl who communicate by writing messages to each other on a library desk. Neither knows who the other is, and the pair finally meet at a yearbook signing where the girl recognizes the boy’s handwriting.

The twist comes at the end, where a lone student enters the cafeteria with a rifle and begins shooting. It’s a shock, as a budding romance is doomed to tragedy.

The brilliance of the PSA comes next, as the story is replayed, but focusing on a student who was in the background the entire time.  The twist is that this student, who is ignored, displays traits of violence and a penchant for guns.

It’s a powerful message—showing that the signs of gun violence exist, but they are easily overlooked.  By providing this different perspective, the creative team and their client deliver a gut-wrenching punch.  You never saw it coming, but when you do, all you can think is, “I should have noticed that before.”

What the Sandy Hook Promise Group and BBDO did was creative, innovative and powerful.  This PSA delivers an unforgettable message by looking at a story from two perspectives – and in doing so, opens both the eyes of the audience and the platform for discussion.

See the PSA here:

When creating your messaging, remember that sometimes, it’s appropriate to look from many perspectives.  In doing so, you can make your audience notice things about your organization, team or function – or you — they had not noticed before.


Author: Robin Imbesi


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