New anti-bullying video uses clever trick to get our attention—and it works (VIDEO)

We are all guilty of this. Every last one of us.

Sandy Hook Promise | Youtube

As we go about out lives, especially in the busy Christmas season, let’s try not to be so distracted that we fail to see those around us who are crying out for help. I’m not easily shocked or surprised, but a new video from Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization committed to ending gun violence, was a real eye-opener in that regard. The video, created by BBDO New York, is awesomely clever at making us all aware of something that we are probably all doing, and fail to realize the consequences to us and others when we do. Cryptic enough for you? Watch the video and see if you spot the trick:

Of course, the horrible and beautiful brilliance of this ad is that it shocks viewers in the best way possible. Even when you know you’re supposed to be on the lookout for something (the words “Sandy Hook” are a red flag all on their own, the four-year anniversary of the shooting is December 14), it’s still so easy to get lost in the everyday—in the routines of high school, in the charm of an adolescent love story. You can easily get wrapped up in the story you want to see. In only noticing the “stars” of the show—the beautiful, interesting people—we miss the outliers, the ones crying out for help. The ones being bullied at the lockers, or worse.

MORE TO READ: The new Sandy Hook school: a ‘gentle fortress’

Their resulting message—though it comes from Madison Avenue—serves as an essential reminder not just for school age kids (though sharing this video with a teen is a good idea), but adults, too. To learn more about how to spot warning signs of depression or violence in others, visit

Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira

Caryn Rivadeneira is the author of five books and is a columnist for Her.meneutics and ThinkChristian. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, three kids, and one red-nose pit bull. Visit her at

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