Ad Nut
Aug 10, 2018

'Family fire': A dark, excellently crafted film about a nightmare of violence

US campaign by Droga5 coins a phrase to raise awareness of accidental gun deaths.

How depressing is this? Guns are so prevalent in the US that they kill or injure eight children every day through accidents alone, according to government statistics. Accidental casualties in homes are so horrifyingly common that some groups think coining the term 'Family fire' might help raise awareness of the issue. 

Hence, this film by the Ad Council and Droga5 for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which explains the risks of firearms in the home in brilliant fashion.

Let's talk about the craft first. Watch the film. Do you think it's an accident that it starts out with the child lying prone on the floor? Did you notice the lighting and/or colour-grading gradually changing? Did you see the fleeting, ghostlike glimpse of the reflection of the child in the door near the end? Did you notice how when the lighting returns to its original brightness at the end, all evidence of the child's existence (colouring books, toys, skateboard) has disappeared, and the father is alone?

Yes, this is a Sixth Sense situation. The father is seeing his dead son and inwardly—no doubt endlessly—torturing himself by mulling over the circumstances of the boy's death.

Ad Nut has chills. And deep, abiding sadness.

Now let's talk about the issue. It's difficult in the US to even speak about guns without instantly angering a large group of people, regardless of which side you're on, or indeed even if you aren't on any side except the side that's against innocent children dying of gunshot wounds. The makers of this video have treaded about as carefully as possible, yet Ad Nut has no doubt the work will disgust people on both sides of a debate that isn't really a debate so much as a neverending exchange of spittle.

It would be great to see an honest conversation about safe storage of guns in the home. As the film indicates pretty eloquently, the very idea that guns can both provide protection and be stored safely doesn't hold up to serious scrutiny. If it needs to be accessible enough that it can be grabbed and loaded quickly enough to stop an invasion by some intruder (an event so rare it barely deserves consideration, but that's another conversation), then by definition it's not stored safely enough to stop a determined child from getting it and loading it.

Ad Nut will not be holding in breath waiting for that honest conversation to take place. After all, there's already ample science that guns in the home not only lead to accidents but also increase the severity of domestic violence and the incidence of suicide (why do you think the NRA acted to prevent scientific studies about guns?).

Regardless, Ad Nut commends the parties here for doing what they can. Perhaps, as reasonable creatures around the world wait and hope for the US to come to its senses, this will prevent some tragedies in households that currently, unbelievably, keep guns not only close at hand but even loaded. 

Ad Nut thanks the ad nuts at Campaign US, who covered this work first and included some additional details.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.



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