Sandy Hook Promise Film, Case study Evan [image] by BBDO New York

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Evan [image]

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Industry Public awareness, Against violence
Media Film, Case study
Market United States
Agency BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer David Lubars, Greg Hahn
Creative Director Peter Alsante
Art Director Martins Zelcs
Copywriter Bryan Stokely
Production Smuggler
Director Henry Alex-Rubin
Released October 2016

Awards

Cannes Lions 2017
Media Branded Content & Entertainment: Use of Branded Content created for Digital or Social Media Silver Lion
Cyber Online Video: Social Video Silver Lion
Cyber Social: Social Purpose Silver Lion

Credits & Description

Title: Evan
Agency: Bbdo New York
Brand: Sandy Hook Promise
Country: USA
Entrant Company: Bbdo New York
Advertising Agency: Bbdo New York
Pr Agency: Dini Von Mueffling Communications, New York
Production Company: Smuggler, New York
Additional Company: Heard City, New York / Beta Petrol, New York / No6 , New York
Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars (Bbdo Worldwide)
Chief Creative Officer: Greg Hahn (Bbdo New York)
Director Of Integrated Production: David Rolfe (Bbdo New York)
Creative Director: Peter Alsante (Bbdo New York)
Art Director: Martins Zelcs (Bbdo New York)
Copywriter: Bryan Stokely (Bbdo New York)
Group Executive Producer: Julian Katz (Bbdo New York)
Editorial Producer: Corina Dennison (No 6)
Account And Planning Team: Alaina Crystal (Bbdo New York)
Account And Planning Team: Lindsey Cash (Bbdo New York)
Account And Planning Team: Michael Schonfeld (Bbdo New York)
Account And Planning Team: Sean Stogner (Bbdo New York)
Director: Henry-Alex Rubin (Smuggler)
Director Of Photography: Ken Seng (Smuggler)
Executive Producer: Drew Santarsiero (Smuggler)
Partner: Brian Carmody (Smuggler)
Partner: Patrick Milling Smith (Smuggler)
Editor/ Colorist: Jason Macdonald (No 6)
Additional Editor: Nick Schnieder (No 6)
Producer: Malia Rose (No 6)
Flame Artist: Ed Skupeen (No 6)
Flame Artist: Mark Reyes (No 6)
Sound Mixer: Evan Mangiamele (Heard City)
Sound Mixer: Stefano Campello (Heard City)
Executive Producer: Sasha Awn (Heard City)
Chief Operating Officer: Andrew Colon (Smuggler)
Assistant Editor: Zong Ling Ch (No6)
Producer: Leah Allina (Smuggler)
Relevancy:
A large amount of the success of “Evan” can be directly attributed to the media approach we took with the launch of the film. We looked at who our target audience was and how they share content, and we solely used influencers to place our film right at their fingertips. This media decision gave the work a certain level of authenticity, and simultaneously helped disguise the true subject matter of the film - which ultimately led to the extreme viral success it achieved.
Campaign Description:
Unless you’ve been directly affected by an act of gun violence yourself, it’s a concept that is hard to personally relate to. Instead of talking about gun violence, we chose to tell a story about a topic everyone could relate to - awkward teenage romance. And we chose to do so in a way that let viewers experience how easy it is to miss the signs, instead of us just telling them how easy it is to miss them.
Outcome:
The film received over 100 million views in the first week alone, spawning countless YouTube reaction videos and news coverage that furthered contributed to our reach. Viewers followed our call-to-action to “learn the signs”, leading to a 275% increase in Sandy Hook Promise website traffic. “Evan” has over 2 billion earned media impressions in 133 countries. It has been adopted as an education tool by schools, businesses, and even the US Department of Homeland Security. In the days after launch, the national conversation about gun violence and warning signs increased 50% as a direct result, helping turn what had previously been a national gun debate into a conversation.
Execution:
The success of the online film “Evan” relied on the premise that viewers clicking “play” thought they were in store for a love story. So we had our influencer partners post the film as if it was just a love story - even referring to it as such - and made no mention of the true subject matter of the film or the brand. This was where our choice of specific influencers came into play. The influencers who posted it were the type that would post the type of feel-good content we were “disguising” our piece as. Because of that, viewers had no idea that what they were watching was leading up to a dramatic twist. Once the film was initially posted by a only handful of influencers, their followers took over and the film went viral in just a couple days.
Strategy:
Since our target audience ranged from parents and teachers to students themselves, the broad topic of “awkward teen romance” would allow us to bring everyone into our story. But to start that process of connecting with viewers, they could never know that it was an ad from Sandy Hook Promise. So we chose to forego traditional media for the launch and instead partner with specific influencers who already had the attention of students and teenagers. We knew that if the film came from an influencer that the viewers respected, we would gain immediate credibility with them because they’d see it less like an ad from a brand and more like a film for a cause. And we knew that if we could get students sharing on board and our film, their parents and teachers would follow suit.
Synopsis:
Sandy Hook Promise is an organization started by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. They believe gun violence is preventable when you know the signs of someone who might become a violent offender. But when you don’t, the signs are easy to miss. Our task was to let people know that these signs exist.