A NECESSARY JOLT

Having trouble recognizing the importance of checking your home for lead? How about watching a house get smashed to bits?

A 30-second spot for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which broke this month and was created by Neiman Group in Harrisburg, Pa., starts with a shot of a window, showing a seemingly normal kitchen inside. “It’s on our windowsills and in our kitchens,” the voiceover says. Other rooms appear, such as a toy-filled child’s bedroom, as the voiceover explains “it” is found there, too.

At the end, the entire house comes into view before a giant lead brick falls on it, destroying the house in a cloud of dust. Appearing onscreen is the copy, “There are 3 million tons of lead-based paint in our homes” along with a toll-free information number. The voiceover urges viewers to check their homes for lead and their children for lead poisoning.

The tagline: “We’re there. For your health. For your community.”

“We simply want to create awareness of the hazards of lead poisoning,” said Rudy Banny, shop vp, executive creative director. One of the goals, he added, was to “stir people up” with the jolting final image.

The ad is running through April 16 in Pennsylvania markets.