Sandy Hook Promise Marks New School Year with Shocking 'Back-to-School' Essentials

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Editors' Choice: The latest PSA created by BBDO NY and directed by Henry Alex Rubin of Smuggler captures the horror of students using back to school essentials to survive a school shooting
Sandy Hook Promise Marks New School Year with Shocking 'Back-to-School' Essentials

Following one of the deadliest years on record for school violence in 2018, Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is debuting its latest PSA, “Back-to-School Essentials”, a powerful and impactful video that highlights the anxiety and fear students face in the reality of school shootings. Since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook School almost seven years ago, reactive measures to gun violence such as active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks have increased. Many students fear that it’s only a matter of when, not if, a shooting will erupt on their school campus. Subconsciously accepting shootings as regular occurrences has become the “new normal” at schools and public spaces across the country. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By focusing on early identification, action and intervention it is possible to prevent tragedies.

View the Back to School Essentials PSA here.

To bring awareness of this horrific “new normal” and the stress that students face on a daily basis, SHP and BBDO New York have produced the new PSA video that starts off as a cheery and often-familiar back-to-school ad but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive a shooting, shedding light on the gruesome reality that students face.


As with its previous PSAs, including the award-winning “Evan” that was viewed over 100 million times and the Emmy-nominated “Point of View”, SHP reinforces that there are proven preventative solutions, including its Know the Signs programs. These programs teach students and adults to recognize warning signs and threats that often precede an act of violence or self-harm, along with the steps to properly intervene and get help before violence occurs. It is documented that 80 percent of school shooters told someone of their plans prior to taking action - yet no interventions were made as the signs were overlooked, misunderstood or not taken seriously.

“Back-to-School Essentials” will be SHP’s biggest campaign to date, as it is being launched with a 360 integrated campaign inclusive of print, digital, radio, and out of home placements. Over $2 million in donated media placements have already been secured to drive this important campaign. Leaders from across the industry committed to donating media, including top media brands such as Omnicom Media Group, CNN, IFC, AMC, YouTube, Teads, PopSugar, Conde Nast, SnapChat, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Fortune, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Intersection and Outdoor Media. PHD New York has partnered with SHP for all PSA campaign media planning and strategy.

In conjunction with the PSA, SHP also provides a downloadable brochure that highlights many of the warning signs to help students and adults recognize them when seen. This Know the Signs brochure is available at www.SandyHookPromise.org.

“So far this year there have been over 22 school shootings, and with students heading back to school, it seems sadly probable that we will see more incidents. This is unacceptable, given that we have proven tools to prevent these acts from occurring. We cannot accept school shootings as the new normal in our country. Our goal with this PSA is to wake up parents to the horrible reality that our children endure. Gone are the days of viewing back-to-school as just a carefree time, when school violence has become so prevalent. However, if we come together to know the signs, this doesn’t have to be the case. I hope that parents across the country will join me to make the promise to stop this epidemic,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting.

To date, more than 7.5 million people nationwide have been trained in Sandy Hook Promise’s lifesaving Know the Signs programs that focus on gun violence prevention by training youth and adults how to identify at-risk behavior and intervene to get help before a tragedy can occur. Through these no-cost proven programs, Sandy Hook Promise has averted multiple school shooting plots, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.

About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others.  SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human side” of gun violence by preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions, and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. Make the Promise at www.sandyhookpromise.org.

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Creative Agency

Creative Agency: BBDO, New York

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn

SVP Senior Creative Director: Peter Alsante

VP Creative Director: Bianca Guimaraes

Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Jim Connolly

Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Gary Toit

Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Lance Vining

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe

VP, Group Executive Producer: Alex Gianni

Associate Producer: Molly Ross

MUSIC PRODUCER: Julia Millison

BUSINESS MANAGER: Grace Kelly

SVP Senior Director: Lindsey Cash

ACCOUNT MANAGER: Elizabeth Jacobs

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Melissa Blache

PLANNING DIRECTOR: Ben Bass

BRAND STRATEGIST: Michael Schonfeld

VP, DIRECTOR OF DATA: Chris Daniele

Production

Company: Smuggler

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Drew Santarsiero

DIRECTOR: Henry Alex Rubin

Co-Founder: Patrick Milling -Smith

Co-Founder: Brian Carmody

LINE PRODUCER: Lead Allina

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Autumn Durald Arkapaw

Editorial

Company: No6 Edit

Managing Director: Corina Dennison

SENIOR PRODUCER: Laura Molinaro

EDITOR: Jason Macdonald

ASSISTANT EDITOR: Renn Cheale

TELECINE

Company: Company 3

TELECINE ARTIST: Tim Masick

Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

CONFORM / VFX / FINISH COMPANY

Company: No6 Edit

CONFORM ARTIST: Ed Skupeen

Flame Assist: Mark Reyes

GRAPHIC DESIGN

COMPANY: No6 Edit

PRODUCER: Laura Molinaro

GFX: David Gerber

MUSIC

COMPANY: JSM

CEO/CCO: Joel Simon

Executive Producer: Jeff Fiorello

COMPOSER: Jason Krebs / Joel Simon

PRODUCER: Norm Felker / Andrew Manning

Sound Designer: Nathan Kil

MIX & RECORD

COMPANY: Heard City

ENGINEER: Jeremy Siegel, Keith Reynaud, Evan Mangiamele, Elizabeth McClanahan

Managing Partner: Gloria Pitagosky

Executive Producer: Jackie James & Sasha Awn

PRODUCER: Andi Lewis

Sound Designers: Evan Mangiamele, Jeremy Siegel, Keith Reynaud,

Assistant Audio Engineers: Tom Morris, Seth Brogdon, Evan Anderson, Ronnie Stapleton

Casting

Company: Doreen Frumkin

VO TALENT: Lawton Paseka (for radio spots only)

Media

Agency: PHD Media

Bob Estrada, Client Business Lead
Nichole Verost, Associate Strategy Director
Gretchen Smith, Digital Performance Director
Alison Horowitz, Strategy Supervisor
Caren Axelrod, Associate Director, Social Media
Harry Keeshan, President, Video Investment
Seth Glosman, Managing Director, Integrated Investment
Paul Salman, Director, Video Investment
Amy Turner, Associate Director, Published Media
Amanda Knoll, Supervisor, Published Media
Grace Collins, US Director, Local Investment
Jeanne Boland, Group Director, Local Investment

Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Social Media Platforms

BBDO New York, 6 months ago