McCann’s ‘Generation Lockdown’ Wins Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good

The PSA campaign promoted the Background Check Expansion Act

In "Generation Lockdown," a child named Kayleigh explains procedures for active shooter drills.
McCann New York

McCann New York was awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good for its “Generation Lockdown” campaign for March for Our Lives, the student activist nonprofit organization formed in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

The campaign highlighted that 95% of public schools engage in lockdown drills to prepare students for the proper course of action in the event of an active shooter. To highlight the issue, McCann New York created a video featuring a child named Kayleigh addressing a shocked room of coworkers as the group’s active shooter training coach. The PSA concluded by informing the audience of attempts to pass the Background Check Expansion Act introduced by Connecticut Senator Christopher Murphy in January.

The campaign’s case study video highlights its 22 million views in one week and its impact in shaping a conversation around the trauma children face from active shooter drills and the threat of gun violence at schools. It also generated $15 million in earned media and caught the attention of Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

“Generation Lockdown” wasn’t the first campaign to highlight lockdown drills. Last September, a group of Texas creatives teamed up with Change the Ref, a nonprofit organization formed by the parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Joaquin Oliver, and the Giffords Organization, an advocacy group founded by former U.S. representative Gabby Giffords, to create “The Last Lockdown,” a statue portraying the harsh realities of gun violence and ubiquity of active shooter drills for American youth. Grey Toronto addressed the issue back in December of 2014 with its “Lockdown” PSA for Moms Demand Action.

McCann New York’s other work for March for Our Lives has included the “Price on Our Lives” initiative, which calculated NRA donation totals to politicians per student to determine their individual “price.” A music video created with Kesha, portraying the cycle of gun violence, was also created in a separate initiative. In March 2018, March for Our Lives also teamed up with a group of creatives on a series of printable posters and separately with BBH Los Angeles on an Instagram coloring book.

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