Back in March of 2014, creative agency Don’t Panic London launched “Most Shocking Second a Day” to promote Save the Children UK’s initiative supporting child refugees in Syria. That spot, which imagined a similar conflict in the U.K. would look like through the perspective of a London child caught in the middle of the conflict, received quite a bit of attention, racking up some 53 million views. Since then, of course, the Syrian refugee crisis has become a more prominent news story, particularly in Europe.
The agency’s new effort, “Still The Most Shocking Second a Day” continues the story of the girl from the original, Lily, with the same actress reprising the role. In the follow-up, directed by Stink’s Tom Green, Lily flees the U.K. as a refugee. The spot follows her story as she faces a series of struggles from having to part with her mother to narrowly avoiding drowning to facing harassment once she arrives in her new country, echoing the kind of hate and xenophobia such refugees have faced in Europe.
The issues faced by Lily in the spot were inspired by the real stories of Syrian child refugees helped by Save the Children. Like its predecessor, it’s a harrowing look at what life is like for child refugees, made all the more difficult by the knowledge that what appears onscreen is only a glimpse at the unimaginable difficulties they face.
“This video captures the terrible experiences of thousands of children every day, many undertaking horrific journeys that no one should ever have to endure,” Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, told Adweek. “We wanted to bring home the reality of what it’s like for those children, to capture the public’s attention.”
“This is a generation of children who have lost everything—their home, their education, their family and in some cases their lives,” she added. “Save the Children is calling for more support for children fleeing these conflict zones. We want a new deal for refugees, to ensure every child gets an education, protection and a fair start in life.”