McCann New York Explores the Dangers of Murderous Toddlers for The Brady Campaign

By Erik Oster 

McCann New York launched a satirical effort for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, entitled “Toddlers Kill.”

The 60-second effort takes aim at the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument by applying it to shootings at the tiny, grubby hands of toddlers. It opens with a series of audio and video snippets of the aftermath of toddler shootings, of which the ad claims there are about one a week. “America’s got a real problem” says the serious-sounding voiceover, adding that it’s time we did something about America’s killer toddler epidemic.

The spot’s premise is obvious from the beginning, making the eventual reveal a foregone conclusion.

It also means that “Toddlers Kill” will most likely allow those already on board with the message to feel smug while angering gun rights advocates. That’s too bad, as McCann has taken a more nuanced and effective approach in the past. Its 2014 “Playthings” effort, for example, found a way to humorously deliver a message related to gun safety that wouldn’t offend reasonable gun owners, as did its follow-up “Conversations.”