The Spot: Pain Beyond Words

Children hint at abuse, in their own inimitable language, in this powerful PSA for Britain's NSPCC

IDEA: Britain's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children had a pressing issue: People were waiting months, even years, to report suspected child abuse. This is partly because kids are notoriously unreliable narrators—indeed, they say the darnedest things. It can be difficult telling what's real and what's not. London agency Inferno thought this problem could actually be a solution—or the framework for one—if people could be taught simply to err on the side of credulity. "Is it just 'the shit kids say'? Or should we be more vigilant toward the children around us and listen to what they might really be trying to tell us through the things they say and the way they play?" said Tim Palmer, Inferno's digital creative director. Playing off the popular "Shit people say" Internet meme, the agency came up with "The $#*! Kids Say," a powerful 90-second PSA in which young children, as they play, say the craziest things—first goofy, innocent lines, then darker ones.