The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence created the following PSA, tackling not only gun violence but also the “stand your ground” laws enacted in 26 states. How it does so, however, is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. The video uses audio from 911 calls made the night of Feb. 26, 2012, while re-enacting the events of that night – when Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by George Zimmerman. The results are chilling. Yet, the ad’s producer, Floyd Russ, believes it to be necessary. He told AdWeek about his inspiration for the PSA:
Russ tells AdFreak that he got the idea for the spot on the night of the Zimmerman verdict. He got Grey creatives Marques Gartrell and Kim Nguyen and account director Cassie Novick on board, and they raised $5,000 in a week online to cover production costs. Final Cut agreed to cover the postproduction work. Russ and his team drew up a list of potential clients for the spot; The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was the first to reply.
Russ also created an ad simply called “Ed” for the advertising firm Grey New York showing a man attempting to shoot up an office with a Colonial-era musket; the Grey Group produced a similar ad in April for Moms Demand Action, labeling the shells ejected from a semi-automatic rifle with the names of U.S. towns where mass shootings took place.
Perhaps the startling PSA is a way to drum up further discussion in both the political and social sphere about gun control. Such conversations have noticeably ebbed in the months since the shooting in Newtown, CT. The add has already sparked several online disputes between those that believe the “stand your ground” laws to be solid protections of self defense and those that believe it to be a way that people with racist or prejudicial tendencies can act out.
See the video here: