The inaugural Clio Storytelling for Good Award was bestowed upon BBDO New York for its “Back to School Essentials” film for Sandy Hook Promise. The presentation of the award was made by Clio and the Brand Storytelling organization during an event on Thursday (1/23) at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
Directed by Henry-Alex Rubin of SMUGGLER, “Back to School Essentials” starts off as a familiar back-to-school ad but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive a shooting, shedding light on what’s become a fearful, gruesome reality. The PSA was an instant success, having received 26 million views within the first 24 hours of its release.
The Storytelling for Good Award celebrates branded entertainment and content that promotes or creates awareness for a cause, foundation, organization and/or political or social issue.
Jurors were tasked with choosing from a pool of entries that ranged from a long-form documentary about heroic nurses in the early days of the AIDS epidemic to a series of Instagram stories created to educate a new generation about the Holocaust.
Nicole Purcell, president of Clio, said, “We’ve seen a substantial increase in purpose-driven branded entertainment and marketing entries at The Clio Awards and we really wanted to find a way to celebrate this meaningful work in front of the community of people that specialize in creating it. The success of BBDO New York’s campaign goes to show that when you take a creative approach to even the most difficult stories, you can capture millions of people’s attention and--hopefully--do some real good.”
Peter Alsante, sr. creative director at BBDO NY, said, “We know that worrying about school shootings and lockdown drills has sadly become part of the back-to-school tradition for many in the U.S.” Bianca Guimaraes, VP, creative director, BBDO NY, added, “We wanted to encourage people to reject this as the ‘new normal’ by showing them that gun violence is preventable.”