This video pops up on my feed with people praising the impact this advertisement has. Naturally I begin watching and I’m immediately immersed in what appears to be a short video documenting a high school boy’s pursuit to find the girl who has been responding to the words he has penned into the library desk.
Eventually the story pans out and he meets the girl in a typical awkward encounter. However the entire point of the video has absolutely nothing to do with the boy or the girl, but the things we often overlook. An important watch for all students, teachers, and parents.
The ad was made for Sandy Hook Promise, a nonpartisan nonprofit led by family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago.
“Through ‘Evan,’ we sought to show how different your perspective can be when you’re aware of the signs,” says Greg Hahn, chief creative officer of BBDO New York. “We’ve been fortunate to work with the inspiring people at Sandy Hook Promise to help parents, students and teachers better identify these signs.”
“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,” says Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, who lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook massacre.
“It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence—these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”
Sandy Hook Promise says 80 percent of school shooters and 70 percent of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their plans before taking action—but all too often, no one intervenes.