Horrifying yet poignant commercial depicts drunk parents through eyes of their children.
September 17, 2012
PSA for Fragile Childhood
From Euro RSCG Helsinki something wicked this way comes: an extraordinary PSA dramatizing how parents, when they’ve been drinking, look to their children. As you would imagine, it ain’t pretty. The adults come off as monsters, literally.
While the ad’s concept is arguably straightforward the execution of this film is anything but. Instead of merely depicting “ugly drunks” the narrative reveals scene after scene of heartbreaking honesty, culminating in a masked killer bucking his frightened son into a car seat. (Who among us never strapped the kids into the car after consuming too much booze at a birthday party?) Also riveting is the hooded specter staring at her daughter from beyond the playground fence. It’s like she’s not there. Chilling.
A zombie walks her daughter to school, black gruel dribbling down her chin. A sickening clown staggers to the bus stop. Again, on paper this sounds facile, but watch the film. It’s riveting, and not because the monsters are grotesque but because the insight is. This commercial is scary because it’s true.
Its execution is letter perfect. The actors capture the melancholy of these fallen creatures as well as the horror. Sure, the children are frightened but so are the drunken parents. There’s a kernel of humanity still alive is these walking dead. Which I think is critical. In order for the PSA to actually work it needs to appeal to the person inside the monster. Otherwise, the alcoholic won’t identify. The fact that these drunks are still trying to do something right (fastening seat belts, taking the kids to the playground, shopping, etc.) make the portrayals truly devastating.
A damn fine campaign.