Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that interests you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?

Editors' Choice

BBDO NY Exposes Warning Signs of Gun Violence in Shocking Sandy Hook PSA

The new PSA from Sandy Hook Promise teaches how to 'know the signs'

BBDO NY Exposes Warning Signs of Gun Violence in Shocking Sandy Hook PSA

Almost 4 years after the tragedy that struck Sandy Hook Elementary School, there continues to be no reduction in the number of gun violence acts committed each and every day. In the aftermath, families and communities are often left wondering what they could have done differently to have stopped it. Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a leading national gun violence prevention organisation, wants to help prevent acts of gun violence before they start through their no cost “Know the Signs” programs. SHP’s programs teach youth and adults how to recognise an individual exhibiting at-risk behaviours and how to effectively intervene to get them help BEFORE they hurt themselves or others. 

Sadly, it has been reported that 80% of school shooters and 70% of individuals who completed suicides told someone of their violent plans prior to taking action – yet no interventions weren’t made. Working with award-winning advertising agency BBDO New York, SHP is launching a powerful PSA titled “Evan” to educate viewers that very often warning signs are given off before an act of violence occurs – but sometimes we don’t see what is right in front of us.   

The short film is the story of Evan, a teen counting down the days to summer break, who demonstrates his boredom by writing on a table in the school library. The next day he finds someone has responded back. While we watch Evan’s story, another darker tale is unfolding simultaneously, but no one notices. You can view the piece in its entirety below:

“When you don’t know what to look for or can’t recognise what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant. That can lead to tragic consequences, including someone hurting themselves or others”, said Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise who lost her first-grade son Dylan in the Sandy Hook Elementary School 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.”

“Through ‘Evan,' we sought to show how different your perspective can be when you’re aware of the signs,” said 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.”

“Evan” demonstrates the problem that SHP is working to solve through their four “Know the Signs” research-based programs, provided at no cost to schools and community organisations. In just 22 months, SHP has already trained 1.5 million students, teachers school officials and parents in all 50 states in at least one of its programs. 

As a result of their “Know the Signs” training, SHP has helped intervene on multiple threats – including a school shooting, suicides and bringing firearms to schools, as well as helping to reduce bullying and getting hundreds of individuals mental health assistance. 

Like other public health issues, including heart attacks, domestic violence and strokes, PSAs have historically been a powerful tool in educating Americans on recognising signs of someone needing help. SHP’s Know the Signs campaign is no different. BBDO New York seized the opportunity to expand SHP’s mission and educate millions with this powerful and educational PSA. 


Advertiser: Sandy Hook Promise

Creative Agency

Executive Producer: Julian Katz

Creative Director: Peter Alsante

Creative Agency: BBDO New York

Copywriter: Bryan Stokely

Comms Strategy Director: Sean Stogner

Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars (Worldwide), Greg Hahn (NY)

Art Director: Martins Zelcs

Planner: Michael Schonfeld

Account Director: Lindsey Cash

Music and Sound

Executive Producer: Sasha Awn

Audio Post Production: Heard City

Mix: Stefano Campello, Evan Mangiamele


Executive Producer: Corina Dennison

Editor: Jason Macdonald

Edit Assistant: Nick Schneider

Post Production / VFX

Flame Assist: Mark Reyes

Flame Artists: Ed Skupeen

Colourist: Stuart Wheeler

Producer: Malia Rose

Post Production House: NO6

Production Company

Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero

DOP: Ken Seng

Director: Henry-Alex Rubin

Production Company: Smuggler

Producer: Leah Allina

Partner: Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody

Category: Corporate and social , Social

Genre: Digital , PR , People