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.


8 Responses to “Horrifying yet poignant commercial depicts drunk parents through eyes of their children.”

  1. swimlikeabrown said


  2. Linda Gebhardt said

    Steffan; With a 17 1/2 year old daughter who has her own car the message is always clear and simple: Do not drink and drive.
    However, the only way this message has become clear is that I nor my husband do this. We know that children look to you as role models and if I drink and drive they will. I have changed my ways with two teenagers in light of this concept. I don’t have much liquor in the house, do not carry on and do not drive drunk. The result: a potentially boring time in my life? Small sacrifice to be a role model. If the parents really want to get the message the monster is not the parent it becomes the child. Truth hurts but too many parents don’t take their job as a parent seriously.
    Great post.

  3. […] Horrifying yet poignant commercial depicts drunk parents through eyes of their children. (godsofadvertising.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Marko said

    Steffan, impressed by your poignant analysis on our film. You managed to uncrypt the backgournd perfectly. We are blown away by the global response to our initially local campaign that became global in just 5 days. Thank you!

  5. Jean Dye said

    what? aaaaaaaaaaaaaah….i cant waitthanks spyro

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