That there are Americans who still think they need to have a gun in the house is puzzling to the vast majority of Australian. States United To Prevent Gun Violence is trying to convince people to keep their guns locked. That there are Americans who still think it’s OK to have an unlocked gun in the house is unfathomable to Australians. Currently in the US, 4.6 million children who live in homes with an unlocked gun and every day in the US, 8 children are shot by a gun that is unlocked or misused.
Gun sales were at a 20-year high during the year, and with coronavirus lockdowns keeping more kids at home, the number of deadly unintentional shootings by children is rising.
There have been many gun safety campaigns in America. Grey New York was given the job of making States United To Prevent Gun Violence plea compelling. First, it had to draw attention. So Grey tapped into the cultural phenomenon of unboxing videos, launching a PSA with a fictional eight-year-old influencer, Cayden.
Unboxed opens like any other popular toy unboxing video. Cayden is in his parents’ bedroom, excited to show off something new for the camera. Except instead of revealing a toy, Cayden unboxes the semi-automatic pistol his parents keep in their closet. As he enthusiastically shows it off for the camera – playing with it, loading it, drawing back the slide – he unwittingly puts himself in serious danger. The juxtaposition of Cayden’s innocence and his palpable danger should make you wince.
“Parents who own guns need to take every precaution when it comes to gun storage,” stated Clai Lasher-Sommers, executive director of States United To Prevent Gun Violence. “3 in 4 first and second graders know where their parents keep their gun, and 1 in 3 admit to handling the weapons. Guns need to be locked to prevent children from accessing firearms and to drastically decrease the chances of unintentional shootings.”
The PSA was a pro bono effort by Grey New York. It was directed by Kevin Wilson Jr. He commented, “As a parent and storyteller, I’m in a very unique position to approach my stories from the point of view of a guardian who cares deeply about protecting the innocence of children. No child should have to lose their life or deal with the guilt of having accidentally taken a life because of the unsafe storing practices of adults.”
Client: States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Creative Agency: Grey New York
Production Agency: Townhouse Studio Animation
Finishing: Gramercy Park Studios
Illustration: The Youth
Original Music: Squeak E. Clean
Production Company: Chelsea Pictures in association with Big Fun Films
Director: Kevin Wilson Jr
Owner & Executive Producer: Lisa Mehling
Executive Producer: Pat McGoldrick
Director of Photography: Laura Valladao
East Coast Representative: Denise Blate Roederer
Editorial: Final Cut
Editor: Patrick Colman
Assistant Editor: Geoff Hastings
Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Head of Production: Penny Ensley
Post Producer: Andrea Cantor