BBDO New York Follows ‘Tomorrow’s News’ With a Look at ‘The Other Side’ for Sandy Hook Promise

By Erik Oster 

BBDO New York launched “Tomorrow’s News” for gun violence prevention nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise in December, following 2016’s award-winning “Evan” ad.

Now the agency is taking a look at “The Other Side” of school shootings.

The 30-second spot opens on a teen boy saying, “Most people think that a school shooting could never happen here,” noting that “those same people are the ones who saw all the signs and never said anything,” echoing the sentiments of “Tomorrow’s News.”

As he notes those signs the camera pans down to reveal the spot’s twist.
Loading his weapon, he concludes, “I’m sure tomorrow somebody will wish they had said something.”

“The Other Side” concludes by directing viewers to Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something Anonymous Reporting System (SS-ARS) app, accompanied by the tagline “Learn the signs. Say Something.”

“The Other Side” draws elements from both “Evan” and “Tomorrow’s News,” focusing on the missed signs that should have been identified and reported to prevent a school shooting. The choice to focus on the perspective of an apparent future school shooter is an odd one, which some viewers may find troubling, but it’s intended to underscore the point that school shooters often don’t keep their plans to themselves. According to Sandy Hook Promise, in around 80% of school shootings at least one other person was aware of the attacker’s plan before it was carried out but did not report it.

“The Say Something Anonymous Reporting System is the most comprehensive violence prevention program available to schools today,” Sandy Hook Promise managing director Nicole Hockley said in a statement. “Now not only will schools be trained to Know the Signs of potential violence, they can also take action to submit a tip anonymously and be sure it is case managed by schools and local law enforcement. From bullying, to substance abuse to suicide and school shooting threats, schools and communities can take tangible action to prevent violence before it occurs. And, it costs the school district nothing to bring in SS-ARS … it is truly absolutely free.”

The release of the ad, of course, is very timely, preceding the March For Our Lives events around the country tomorrow in support of stronger gun control methods and arriving a little over a month after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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