Best of 2016 No. 8 TV/Film/Branded Content -- There's a Hidden Story Behind the High School Romance in This Powerful PSA

Don't Ignore What's in Front of Your Eyes, Warns Sandy Hook Promise

Published On
Dec 02, 2016

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.

BBDO's powerful PSA for the Sandy Hook Promise group comes in at #8 in our TV, film and branded content category. The film plays with perspective to deliver a chilling, unexpected twist, highlighting how signs of impending violence are often ignored. As a result, it went viral on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy in the Connecticut school.

Original story:

The Sandy Hook Promise group, a gun violence prevention organization set up in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, has released a powerful and insidiously clever PSA that will really make you think.

Created by BBDO New York and directed by Smuggler's Henry-Alex Rubin, "Evan" plays out as the story of a high school romance between a boy who's falling for a girl he communicates with by writing messages onto a desk in the library. They're not sure who each other is, and there are lots of longing glances across the cafeteria and classrooms as he tries to work it out.

Just as they find each other, there's a gut-wrenching twist -- and it becomes apparent, as we watch the previous scenes again, that another whole story has been playing out, and we've totally missed it as concentrate on the love story.

The message from Sandy Hook Promise is that, very often, warning signs are given off before an act of violence occurs -- but sometimes we don't see what is right in front of us.

"When you don't know what to look for or can't recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences, including someone hurting themselves or others", said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, who lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Sandy Hook Promise aims educate people through its research-based programs, "Know the Signs," which are provided at no cost to schools and community organizations. In 22 months the organization has already trained 1.5 million students, teachers school officials and parents in all 50 states in at least one of its programs.


Dec 02, 2016
Brand :
Sandy Hook Promise
Client :
Sandy Hook Promise
Agency :
BBDO-New York
Chief Creative Officer :
David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York :
Greg Hahn
Creative Director :
Peter Alsante
Copywriter :
Bryan Stokely
Art Director :
Martins Zelcs
Group Executive Producer :
Julian Katz
Account Director :
Lindsey Cash
Communications Planning Director :
Sean Stogner
Communications Planning Associate :
Michael Schonfeld
Founder and Managing Director :
Nicole Hockley
Founder and Managing Director :
Tim Makris
Production Company :
Director :
Henry-Alex Rubin
Partner :
Patrick Milling Smith
Partner :
Brian Carmody
Executive Producer :
Drew Santarsiero
Chief Operating Officer :
Andrew Colon
Producer :
Leah Allina
Director, Photography :
Ken Seng
Post Production :
Editor :
Jason MacDonald
Additional Editor :
Nick Schneider
Executive Producer :
Corina Dennison
Post Producer :
Malia Rose
Flame Artist :
Ed Skupeen
Flame Assistant :
Mark Reyes
Colorist :
Stuart Wheeler
Audio Post :
Heard City
Mixer :
Stefano Campello
Mixer :
Evan Mangiamele
Audio Executive Producer :
Sasha Awn

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