Gun suicide rates have reached an alarming record high, with the largest one-year increase in over 40 years. They now account for more than half of all firearm deaths—67 per day, on average, in the U.S.
Today, Brady, the Ad Council and Dentsu Creative are launching a campaign, part of the “End Family Fire” initiative, emphasizing the need for safe gun storage through seven stories of people who contemplated taking their lives with a firearm. The overarching message is that people everywhere experience moments of crisis, and making it harder to access a loaded weapon in those moments can prevent a large number of suicides. (Access to a firearm triples the risk of suicide.)
The seven stories are told through an immersive digital experience, and they’ve also been bundled together in a book called “Safe Stories” that doubles as a lock box that securely stores a handgun.
“This kind of tragedy can happen to every family, and these emotional stories told by gun owners are a stark reminder of that,” said Niels Sienaert, executive creative director at Dentsu Creative Chicago. “With more guns than people in America, it’s crucial that we keep educating gun owners to always store their firearms securely. That’s how we’ll save lives.”
“We can’t legislate our way out of America’s gun violence epidemic. As with PSA campaigns and public education efforts on seatbelts and smoking, we must model safer norms and behavior around firearms and their safekeeping,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “Data shows that ‘End Family Fire’ is resonating with gun owners, and the result is countless lives saved.”
The PSAs will run across multiple formats, including OOH, video, digital and radio.