New York-based agency Grey is deeply invested in the gun control movement — and they’ve produced a couple of disparate PSAs over the past week to support the cause in different ways.
First, here’s the Snoop Dogg spot for advocacy group Unload Your 401K, in which he urges companies to stop investing in businesses that manufacture weapons (and yes, he’s been doing this for a while):
Grey created the project in partnership with various gun control advocacy groups. The agency’s newest work, however, is a little more in-depth.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence, or the major gun control non-profit NOT involving former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, went to unusual lengths to promote its policy goals with Grey’s help. The agency set up a fake “gun store” on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, then regaled “first-time buyers” with stories about the violence inflicted by the guns in question.
The footage captured during the two-day shoot (during which the agency and production company Rival School Pictures rented the space) is slightly unnerving.
The attendant website Guns With History is fully interactive, down to the telemarketer stock photo and stories about horrific crimes committed with the nine “best sellers”:
The larger org’s executive director Julia Wyman writes that the purpose of the campaign is to push against the myth that firearms decrease the likelihood of violence in the home:
“Our goal is to educate those looking to purchase a firearm and ensure they are aware of the potential risks [and to promote responsible gun ownership].”
Leah Gunn Barrett, ED of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), elaborates:
“Gun suicide among American youth aged 10-19 is at a 12-year high and in 82% of the cases of kids killing themselves with guns, the gun belonged to a family member, usually a parent. If a parent must own a gun, then they should be responsible and lock it up to keep their kids from accessing it.”
Given the well-documented power of the gun lobby in this country, we can’t say how successful these campaigns will be.
But at least they’re trying something different.