Grey Toronto Examines ‘Lockdown’ for Moms Demand Action

By Erik Oster 

In a new PSA, Grey Toronto (with production support from Untitled Films, Saints Editorial, Eggplant Music & TopixVFX) examines a school “Lockdown” drill in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (also known as Moms Demand Action).

The harrowing PSA, of which there is a 60-second broadcast version as well as the 90-second version featured above, depicts the harsh reality of school lockdown drills that have become the norm in many schools following the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting which approaches its two year anniversary on December 14th. It is affecting because it gives viewers the perspective of students and teachers as they go through the drill. As students hide under desks, their teacher reminds them to be silent. Ominous music plays as the camera shows the scared faces of the children, interspersed with audio clips announcing things like “37 school shootings so far in 2014” and “almost 100 school shootings since Newtown.” When the lockdown is finally revealed as a drill, viewers share in the relief felt by the teacher and her students.


The PSA was revealed today at a press conference on Capitol Hill, along with a report documenting the “at least 95 school shootings” since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Among those in attendance at the press conference were “elected leaders, gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates.”

“You may not have heard about all of these shooting incidents on the national news, but when a lockdown is announced over a school intercom – for whatever reason – it strikes fear across the community,” said Shannon Watts, founder of  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We will not allow the constant threat of gun violence at our schools to become the new normal – it’s time our elected leaders take a stand for the safety and future of our children.”




Client: Moms Demand Action 

Agency: GREY Toronto 

Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons

Copywriter: Patrick Scissons

Agency Producer: Erica Metcalfe

Account Director: Darlene Remlinger

Production Company: Untitled Films

Director: Phil Brown

DOP: John Houtman

Executive Producer: Lexy Kavluk

Producer: Trudy Turner

Editorial: Saints/Griff Henderson

Audio: Eggplant/Roc Gagliese, Nathan Handy

Colorist: Alter Ego/Wade Odlum

Online: Topix VFX/Marco Polsinelli