Over 2.6 million views in the first 48 hours. Mic.com reports:
The onset of this PSA from Sandy Hook Promise, an organization created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, begins innocently enough. The video follows a boy, Evan (the same name as the video), exchanging messages on a desk in the school library with an unknown classmate.
The flirtatious messages are sent back and forth until the end of the school year, leaving a dissuaded Evan without a chance to learn the identity of his secret crush. However, in a last-ditch effort to learn who the person is, he exchanges yearbook signatures with classmates — one of which recognizes his handwriting from the desk.
While the two begin talking, however, an ominous figure emerges from the entrance of the building, taking out an assault rifle and cocks the gun as the screen fades to black. “While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting,” the corresponding text reads. “But no one noticed.”
Watch the clip until the end. The PSA has gotten wide praise on many sites, but of course they’ve had to disable comments on YouTube. AdWeek talks to the agency behind the video:
“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.
(Tipped by JMG reader Daddy Ray)