Sandy Hook Promise's "Teenage Dream" Wins Primetime Commercial Emmy
Sandy Hook Promise's "Teenage Dream"
BBDO NY, SMUGGLER score TV Academy honor for public service spot directed by Henry-Alex Rubin
  • --

Sandy Hook Promise’s “Teenage Dream”--directed by Henry-Alex Rubin of SMUGGLER for BBDO New York--won the primetime commercial Emmy on Saturday (9/3) during the first of two Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies held this weekend at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. 

“Teenage Dream” features school shooting survivors from across the country who are experiencing varying degrees of physical and mental trauma, most of whom have severe PTSD, including: 

  • Chase Yarborough, 20: Shot six times while trying to run away from the shooter in the Santa Fe High School shooting. He currently has four bullets in his body, including his head and heart. 
  • Hannah Dysinger, 20: Shot in the ribcage by the bullet that killed her best friend in the Marshall County High School shooting. 
  • The Dworet Family: Sons, Nick and Alex, were shot in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Nick was killed in the shooting, and Alex was shot in the neck. Nick’s friend Aalayah Eastmond (also featured in the video) hid under his dead body to avoid being shot.

The state of youth mental health coming out of the pandemic and record levels of gun violence have educators, parents, students and organizations like Sandy Hook Promise deeply worried about the possibility of a “powder keg” effect. The message to “know the signs” to prevent violence is crucial for back-to-school season, as many kids report experiencing mental and emotional challenges including feelings of extreme stress, anxiety, isolation, and depression. Sandy Hook Promise provides a downloadable “Know the Signs’’ guide that highlights many of the warning signs of violence to look for and seek help. 

“Teenage Dream” topped a field of nominated commercials this year which also consisted of: Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s “Detectives” directed by David Shane of O Positive with creative from Apple itself; Apple TV+’s “Everyone But Jon Hamm” directed by Wayne McClammy of Hungry Man for TBWA\Media Arts Lab; Chevy Silverado’s “Walter the Cat” directed by Jim Jenkins of O Positive for Commonwealth//McCann; Change the Ref’s “The Lost Class” directed by Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man for Leo Burnett Chicago; and Meta’s “Skate Nation Ghana” directed by a collective of four directors from production house Love Song--Daniel Wolfe, Bafic, Elliott Powers and Justyna Obasi--for Droga5 New York. (Obasi is an alum of SHOOT’s 2020 New Directors Showcase).

The win for “Teenage Dream” adds to an impressive Emmy track record for Sandy Hook Promise, BBDO NY and SMUGGLER director Rubin who earlier teamed on “Back to School Essentials” which won the primetime commercial Emmy in 2020. And in the year prior, the Rubin-helmed “Point of View” for Sandy Hook Promise and BBDO NY earned an Emmy nomination.

BBDO NY has an even longer history with the TV Academy, winning five primetime commercial Emmy Awards spanning multiple clients over the years. This dates back to the very first primetime commercial Emmy, won by BBDO NY in 1997 for HBO’s “Chimps.”  The agency won again for FedEx’s “Stick in 2006. In 2018, BBDO NY garnered the Emmy for Procter & Gamble’s “The Talk.” And then came the Sandy Hook Promise wins in 2020 and this year. (BBDO’s Emmy lineage actually precedes the establishment of the primetime spot Emmy. Back in 1991 the agency won an Emmy in the Image category for HBO’s “Foreman.”) 


Client Sandy Hook Promise Agency BBDO New York David Lubars, chief creative officer, worldwide; Peter Alsante, executive creative director; Jim Connolly, creative director; Samantha Spellman, art director; Sandi Spino, copywriter; Alex Gianni, executive producer, director of content production; Molly Ross, producer; Jong Yeu Wu, designer; Julia Millison, sr. music producer; Lucy Bennett, influencer manager; Jessica Nugent, SVP, director of production services. Media Agency PHD Nichole Verost, strategy director; Jake Brady, strategist. Production SMUGGLER Henry-Alex Rubin, director; Patrick Milling Smith, Brian Carmody, Drew Santarsiero, exec producers; Alex Hughes, head of production; Leah Allina, producer; Michelle Mehn, Mark Perez, associate producers. Catalina Restrepo, line producer (NY prep); Holland Kemp, production supervisor; Carly Rehm, assistant production supervisor; Anthony Dimino, 1st AD; David Devlin, DP; Alex Fagin, production designer; Young-Ah Kim, Jessica Bonanza, wardrobe stylists; Leah Allina, Lev Abramoff, casting directors. Editorial MackCut Ian MacKenzie, editor; Gina Pagano, exec producer; Cooper McLane, assistant editor; Jimmy Hayhow, lead Flame artist; Franklin Ponce, Mike Leuis, interview editors. Telecine Color Collective Alex Bickel, colorist; Claudia Guevara, exec producer. Music Human Sloan Alexander, creative lead & arranger; Thomas Kerry, arranger; James Dean Wells, exec producer. Song: “Teenage Dreams” by Katy Perry. Audio Post Post Human Sloan Alexander, chief engineer.


MySHOOT Company Profiles