The possibility of yet another school shooting was on everyone’s mind as students prepared to return to school after the summer holidays of 2019. It was into this tense atmosphere that Sandy Hook Promise released its latest PSA. At first, it appears to be a typical back-to-school ad. But things soon take a darker turn when it becomes clear that a shooter is active in the school, and the pupils have use their new school items to save their lives. The commercial closes by pointing out that the only back-to school essential is learning to spot the signs of a potential shooter.
What did the judges have to say?
My favourite film I saw this year was Back to School Essentials for Sandy Hook Promise. It’s a classic, self-contained, conceptual ad, which I appreciate, but at the same time it uses everything we know and expect about classic ads to deliver a subversive and emotional punch in the gut. Add to that the fact that it has an important message, and I can’t find anything about it that I’d change.Nathaniel Lawlor, Copywriter