Creative agency Don’t Panic realized the hardest part of getting people to care about a crisis going on in another part of the world is to remove its remoteness and make it feel relevant and immediate, closer to home. So, to promote Save the Children UK’s initiative supporting child refugees in Syria, Don’t Panic created the above 90 second video imagining how a similar conflict in the UK could sink a London child’s life into despair over the course of a year.
The video shows one second a day (okay, so some days are skipped since the 90 seconds wouldn’t add up to a year, but that’s not important right now) of the child’s life as she goes from a comfortable middle class existence to a homeless and fatherless refugee haunted by the horrors of war. It is brilliantly shot, and the second a day format delivers the message with maximum impact, showing how quickly war devastates children’s lives. It opens with the child happily celebrating a birthday, and closes on her despondent stare the following year as she is presented with a rather sad looking birthday cake in a refugee tent. The harrowing footage is followed by the message, “Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening” — a perfect call to action that shakes the complacency all too easy to feel about a far away problem.
“It’s easy to forget that Syria was a middle income country, where children enjoyed the benefits of education, healthcare and the other basic rights our children take for granted—not to mention Facebook accounts, video games and youth culture,” Jack Lundie, director of brand and communications at Save the Children told Adweek. “We hope the video will resonate with the public, particularly those who don’t know much about the situation in Syria, and offer a new perspective on the devastating impact this conflict is having on innocent Syrian children.”
The PSA is timed to coincide with “with the buildup to the third anniversary of the Syrian crisis, which has left 100,000 people dead and 2 million more as refugees.” You can learn more about the Syrian child refugee crisis on Save The Children’s page here.