As Buzzfeed’s Copyranter quips, “The commercial is via Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who are attempting to become the Mothers Against Drunk Driving group for gun control.”
The ad is certainly a low-budget shocker, like many anti-drunk-driving ads. But is the approach equally problematic? I’m not sure.
This ad is probably not going to win any awards for subtlety of sophistication. But it may prove more effective than any MADD campaign.
Here’s why: My criticism of MADD ads is that they preach to the choir, by demonizing drunk drivers as monsters. While they are effective in getting “the choir” to take political action, as behaviour modification they are too negative to actually convince a predisposed drunk driver to rethink his or her actions. (Although, considering MADD’s lobbying activities, perhaps the latter were never really the target.)
The Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America ad, however, is explicitly aiming to galvanize public opinion among those who want more gun control in the United States. It doesn’t even pretend to say “don’t shoot children” the way MADD ads say “don’t drive drunk”. And that’s a huge difference. In this case, making people angry may be the most effective strategy available.
Interestingly, this ad was made in Canada — by Grey. It was a pro-bono effort, so it was obviously meant to show neighbourly concern.