Save the Children Follows Up Its Brutal Syria PSA With a Similar One About Literacy

Escape a life of misery, for only 10 minutes a day

Attention, dads. If you take a nap instead of reading with your son, he will grow up to be the kind of illiterate, all-around failure who gets misspelled tattoos about having no "ragrets."

At least, that's the moral of a new PSA from charity Save the Children U.K.—done in a similar style (and in fact by the same agency, Don't Panic) as the group's brutal March PSA about kids in Syria.

Here, a neglected kid, Jack, is ultimately unable to hold down a job, or a relationship, or simply to function in the most basic ways. It's the kind of nightmare scenario that should spur any parent with half a brain into carving out some sacred story time with their offspring, stat.

It might seem a little hyperbolic, or like it eventually descends into black comedy. But stick with it to the end to understand why the extreme presentation (and accompanying touch of levity) ends up being appropriate, and makes a weighty topic easier to digest (even if it lacks the storybook-and-celebrity-menagerie quirkiness of one other approach to the genre).

The choice of book, Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is a pretty excellent fit for the message, subtly reinforcing the importance of literacy in helping a child make sense of a fundamentally social and not always friendly world, while also framing the kid in question as in particular need of attention from his pops.

Hopefully, though, Jack doesn't grow up to get a tattoo that says "No regrets," either.

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@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.