A collection of ad executives, creatives and account reps from various agencies joined together to create a faux ad campaign selling bulletproof vests designed for kids -but it’s actually directs people to their senators to call for stricter gun laws.
The landing page for the site, Bulletproof Junior Vests, asks whether your child has the proper kind of protection for attending class, showing pricey vests worn by beaming children and sporting hefty price tags.
The ad copy pulls no punches, snarkily using painfully tongue-in-cheek lines to promote the vests, including touting the ability “to soothe your child’s pounding heart rate” for example, and is machine washable but “hand wash only” for blood stains. (No doubt, this sort of outrageous language will get people talking, as ad creatives well know.) To amp up the shock value, they are advertised as coming with a free replacement “if shot within the first two months of purchase.” But once you click on anything, a message comes up saying that rather than vests, voters are demanding change.
Digitas exec Harley Garner tells AdAge:
“We thought: ‘What if we fooled people into thinking this is real?’ … and then [when they realize it’s not, we hope] people will think: ‘Could this become reality?
Garner, answering his own question, said he believes it could, as some politicians “are really suggesting a very scary reality” for the future of schools in America. In the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting that left 17 dead, some, including President Donald Trump, have suggested that districts arm their teachers to defend against assailants.
Staffers from at least six different ad agencies got involved in the campaign. Garner said they were inspired by the group of Parkland students who survived the Feb. 14 shooting who have since become activists.