Sandy Hook Promise's "Back-to-School Essentials" Wins Primetime Commercial Emmy
Sandy Hook Promise's "Back-to-School Essentials"
BBDO NY, SMUGGLER score TV Academy honor for public service spot directed by Henry-Alex Rubin
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Sandy Hook Promise’s “Back-to-School Essentials”--directed by Henry-Alex Rubin of SMUGGLER for BBDO New York--won the primetime commercial Emmy on Saturday (9/19), the fifth and concluding night of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The public service piece starts off as a familiar back-to-school ad but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive an outbreak of gun violence, shedding light on the gruesome reality that youngsters face in the reality of classroom and campus shootings. 

The second time proved to be the charm for Sandy Hook Promise which had been nominated two consecutive years for the primetime commercial Emmy. While Sandy Hook Promise’s “Point of View” PSA fell short last year--with the win going to Nike’s “Dream Crazy”--this time around “Back-to-School Essentials” took the Emmy, topping a field which consisted of: Amazon’s “Before Alexa,” directed by Steve Rogers via Somesuch x Revolver for Droga5 London; Apple AirPods’ “Bounce,” directed by Oscar Hudson of Pulse Films for TBWA\Media Arts Lab; Jeep’s “Groundhog Day,” helmed by Jim Jenkins of O Positive for Highdive Advertising; and Procter & Gamble’s “The Look, directed by Anthony Mandler via Stink Films (he has since moved over to production house Arts & Sciences) for agency Saturday Morning.

“Back-to-School Essentials” was lensed by DP Autumn Durald Arkapaw and cut by Jason Macdonald of NO6 Edit. Music house was JSM Music with audio post and sound design from Heard City.

“We are honored and humbled that the Academy chose to recognize ‘Back-to-School Essentials’ for Outstanding Commercial. As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to end school shootings and prevent violence that harms children. The only way that can happen is if parents understand the real fears our kids have, and take action, including learning the warning signs of potential violence and speaking up,” said Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan who was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. “We are grateful to our creative partners, BBDO New York and Smuggler Productions, for helping us develop innovative ways to reach as many people as possible with this life-saving message--and to our media partners for the donated airtime that brings the PSA into millions of homes nationwide.”

The Emmy win adds to BBDO’s rich history with the Television Academy. It’s the fourth commercial Emmy bestowed upon BBDO NY. BBDO won the very first primetime commercial Emmy in 1997 for HBO’s “Chimps.” The agency won again for FedEx’s “Stick in 2006. And in 2018, BBDO NY garnered the Emmy for Procter & Gamble’s “The Talk.” (BBDO also won an Emmy in the Image category for HBO’s “Foreman” in 1991.) Over the years BBDO NY has received 18 primetime commercial Emmy Award nominations.


Client Sandy Hook Promise Agency BBDO New York David Lubars, chief creative officer, worldwide; Greg Hahn, chief creative officer, NY; Peter Alsante, SVP, sr. creative director; Bianca Guimaraes, VP, creative director; Jim Connolly, Gary Toit, associate creative directors/copywriters; Lance Vining, associate creative director/art director; David Rolfe, director of integrated production; Alex Gianni, VP, group executive producer; Molly Ross, associate producer; Julia Millison, music producer; Michael Schonfeld, brand strategist. Production Smuggler Henry-Alex Rubin, director; Drew Santarsiero, exec producer; Patrick Milling-Smith, Brian Carmody, co-founders; Lead Allina, line producer; Autumn Durald Arkapaw, DP. Editorial NO6 Edit Jason Macdonald, editor; Corina Dennison, managing director; Laura Molinaro, sr. producer; Renn Cheale, assistant editor. Color Company 3 Tim Masick, colorist; Alexandra Lubrano, producer. Conform/VFX/Finishing NO6 Edit Ed Skupeen, conform artist; Mark Reyes, Flame assist. Graphic Design NO6 Edit David Gerber, GFX; Laura Molinaro, producer. Music JSM Joel Simon, CEO/CCO, composer; Jeff Fiorello, exec producer; Jason Krebs, composer; Norm Felker, Andrew Manning, producers; Nathan Kil, sound designer. Audio Mix Heard City Jeremy Siegel, Keith Reynaud, Evan Mangiamele, Elizabeth McClanahan, engineers; Gloria Pitagorsky, managing partner; Jackie James, Sasha Awn, exec producers; Andi Lewis, producer; Evan Mangiamele, Jeremy Siegel, Keith Reynaud, sound designers; Tom Morris, Seth Brogdon, Evan Anderson, Ronnie Stapleton, assistant audio engineers. Casting Doreen Frumkin


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