Grey Crafts Hard-Hitting Ads for Gun Control Across Two Different Campaigns

Visceral approaches to the subject

A guy named Ed stalks past the glum cubicles of a nondescript office suite, raises his gun and fires a single shot at a middle-aged managerial type, narrowly missing his target. He then begins the laborious process of cleaning and reloading his musket-style weapon—the type of firearm widely used when the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified—giving everyone in the room time to flee. The chilling spot, from States United to Prevent Gun Violence and Grey New York, closes with the lines: "Guns have changed. Shouldn't our gun laws?"

Moms Demand Action and Grey Toronto take a simpler approach with "How Many More Rounds?" That clip shows shells ejecting in slow motion as an assault weapon is fired, with each casing representing a high-profile shooting: Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. As the tragedies pile up, the ad asks, "How many more rounds are we going to let this go for?" The same client-agency team also crafted print ads (posted after the jump) that show two kids standing or sitting side by side, each holding a different item, one of which has been banned by federal or local authorities to protect youngsters. The banned items include a version of Little Red Riding Hood, Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and dodge balls. In each case, the contrasting item is an assault-style AK-15 rifle.

All three efforts are restrained and thoughtful, and each makes a point in a memorable way without seeming gratuitous. That the cause inspires impassioned and noteworthy creative work is no surprise. It's just a shame this particular ad category has to exist at all.

CREDITS (top spot)

Client: States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Spot: "Ed—A Petition for Stronger Gun Laws"

Agency: Grey, New York

President, Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren

Executive Creative Directors: Steve Krauss, Ari Halper

Creative Director, Art Director: Eric Schutte

Associate Creative Director, Copywriter: Rob Carducci

Copywriter: Richard Bullock

Creative Reputation Manager: Rachel West

Vice President, Account Director: Elizabeth Gilchrist

Assistant Account Executive: Cassie Novick

Executive Vice President, Director of Broadcast Production: Bennett McCarroll

Producer: Floyd Russ

Associate Producer: Sam Howard

Production Company: Harvest

Director: Adam Goldstein

Executive Producers: Bonnie Goldfarb, Rob Sexton

Line Producer: Francie Moore

Director of Photography: Roman Jakobi

Editorial: Mackenzie Cutler

Editor: Gavin Cutler

Assistant Editor: Ryan Steele

Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld

Visual Effects: Method Studios

Lead Flame Artist: Jay Hawkins

Matte Painter: Stella Ampatci

Visual Effects Producer: Jenn Dewey

Sound Design: Vision Post

Sound Designer: Ryan Hobler

Producer: Lindsay Brzowski

Music: G&E Music

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.