Right in the gut

Sandy Hook Promise (Watch video before reading post)


This semester we’ve learned about incorporating emotion into our pitches to create a deeper understanding and connection with our target audience. Sandy Hook Promise is a foundation created by the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. They’ve created this foundation to raise awareness around gun violence and prevention.

The two and a half minute commercial demonstrates the severity of the issue paired with our lack of awareness around gun violence. Everyone who watches this commercial is too consumed with one story to notice what else is going on, until it is too late. The ad agency, BBDO New York, did a fantastic job with this memorable commercial. Their message is that gun violence can be prevented if we know what to look for. They direct viewers to their website for educational material and research on warning signs. To educate the audience on the foundation’s mission, they’ve used this platform to put us in their shoes.

We see our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and loved ones in this story. We feel fear, sadness, and shock. They’ve used emotion to create a lasting impression and demonstrate how real this issue is in our communities. Sandy Hook Promise and BBDO New York send a call to action with this clip. They have empowered everyone to make a difference and potentially save lives.

Sandy Hook Promise. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.sandyhookpromise.org/

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5 Responses to Right in the gut

  1. Lilia says:

    Hi Hibah,
    I just watched this video today and it left me speechless. I almost felt guilty for failing to see beyond the main story. It definitely left an impact, and stayed on my mind for quite some time today. Although, this commercial is the result of a very tragic event, Sandy Hook Promise did a phenomenal job in capturing our attention via emotion and leaving an impact.
    At the beginning of the commercial, I was focused on what the message could be, but as it continued, I began to focus on the adorable relationship between the two kids. Once it reached the end and reviewed all the warning signs, I just reminded me of how quick we are to focus on ONLY what is in front of us, but fail to see the whole picture. Being that I work out in the field and visit convenience gas stores, liquor stores, and smoke shops on the daily, I thought I had become better at evaluating a situation and those involved. Clearly, after watching this commercial, I need to do a better job. By educating ourselves to see the warning signs can help save many of lives.

    Great post!


  2. Carolyn says:

    Wow, incredibly powerful and impactful message. Although I knew that the clip was about Sandy Hook, I fell into the story and forgot, and was shocked at the outcome. It’s so interesting how our minds work and how we can see or not see what’s in plain sight. We had a situation where I work recently, a public altercation of some sort, and there was no clear “story” because each of the witnesses had a different version of what had happened. Incredible. We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear all too often. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Leyla says:

    Hi Hibah,

    Wow! What a thought-provoking and emotionally charged PSA. It totally speaks to what the public choses to notice and the fact that we need to pay more attention, especially to the next generation. The PSA is informative, while telling an emotional story and truly “sticks” the message by playing back the whole story, while pointing out the signs the viewer overlooked. This definitely makes the viewer think and teaches them to be aware of their surroundings. The PSA is the perfect example of what we’ve been learning all semester long.

    Great post!


  4. Dawn says:

    Hi Hibah,

    Thanks for your post – the PSA is certainly very compelling and memorable. The video really hit home for me because a friend of a friend’s daughter was killed at Sandy Hook (Josephine Grace Gay) and my best friend lives a few blocks from Columbine High School. You can never imagine that something so terrible could happen to you or someone you know, but the ad is a reminder that we all can make a difference.

  5. Courtney says:

    Hi Hibah,

    I am so glad that you posted this. Using emotion is absolutely necessary for a topic such as this one. Gun violence is so much more than implementing gun control and takes us citizens being responsible and knowing what to look for. The San Bernardino shooters lived in my hometown and were shooting just blocks from my mom and my best friend. These atrocities can be prevented by changing the culture of gun violence and being more aware.

    Thanks for sharing,