Inside BBDO's 'Evan' Ad, and the Unusual Editing Process That Made It Such a Smash Hit

How to generate surprise when you already know what's coming

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CANNES, France—BBDO New York pulled off an incredible feat with its work for Sandy Hook Promise released last December. It tricked millions of viewers into believing they were watching a charming teenage love story unfold, when in fact a second storyline had a much darker tale to tell.

The care and precision that went into crafting the “Evan” spot, which was directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, was quite remarkable.

“We needed the scenes in the background to be enough that viewers didn’t see it the first time around, but simultaneously they couldn’t be so hidden that when we revealed them to viewers, they thought they never would have seen that in the first place.



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