BBDO New York & Sandy Hook Promise’s: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream becomes a heart-breaker

Just when you thought that Sandy Hook Promise’s stories could not get any more powerful, BBDO New York releases one featuring real victims. And just when you thought that the version of Katy Perry’s song, Teenage Dream, they are singing could not get any sadder, their stories are told in captions.

Perry’s 2010 track is all about the high school experience. It’s a light and happy. From the very outset, BBDO NY’s version has a very different mood. It’s presented in fragments by sad teens – beginning with spoken word lyrics and moving into a soulful version of the tune. The lyrics take on a new meaning in this new environment.

Then the captions begin to appear. “Nolan Brady. Shot in the kidney during class. His teacher and a classmate were killed, San Bernardino, CA 2017.” “Isabelle Lymance. Two friend were killed next to her as they huddled in a closet. Santa Fe, TX 2018.” “Aalayah Eastmond, Hid under the body of her dead friend. Parkland, FL 2018.” “Nick Walczak. Shot 3 times. Paralysed by a bullet in his psince. Chardon, OH 2012.” …and so on.

It’s a heart-breaking 2.30 minute film. It’s heart-breaking that this film could be made, that it has to be made; that another one like it will have to be made, perhaps more powerful if BBDO NY adheres to its Sandy Hook Promise chronology.

Like its predecessors, this commercial aims to highlight the importance of knowing the signs of potential gun violence. This time children and teens are returning to school after an extremely stressful period, one that has challenged the emotions and mental health of even those who are strong.

The idea for using Teenage Dream came from BBDO creative director, Jim Connolly. The idea of revealing the teens’ individual experiences wasn’t part of the original concept. It was added after the creators heard their stories. The campaign fleshes out the teens’ stories in additional videos featured on the Sandy Hook Promise website.

The campaign was introduced on Katy Perry’s Instagram account:


Creative Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Executive Creative Director: Peter Alsante
Creative Director: Jim Connolly
Art Director: Samantha Spellman
Copywriter: Sandi Spino
Executive Producer & Director of Content Production: Alex Gianni
Producer: Molly Ross
Designer: Jong Yeu Wu
Senior Music Producer: Julia Millison
SVP Senior Director: Lindsey Cash
SVP Account Director: Ann Kim
Account Executive: Charlotte Manzone
VP Planning Director: Ben Bass
Planner: Kamillah Collins
Influencer Manager: Lucy Bennett
SVP Director of Production Services: Jessica Nugent
Business Manager: Grace Kelly

PR Agency: Dini von Mueffling Communications
Founder & Chief Executive Officer: Dini von Mueffling
Publicists: Stephanie Morris & Lily Seibert

Media Agency: PHD
Strategy Director: Nichole Verost
Strategist: Jake Brady
Activation: Caitlin Crawford, Grace Brandus, Jessi Searing, Natalie Stephan, Rachel Easton & Emma Rayder
Donation Outreach: Steven Bloom (OMG), Bryan Master (OMG) & Seth Glosman

BBDO New York & Sandy Hook Promise’s: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream becomes a heart-breaker

Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Henry-Alex Rubin
Executive Producers: Patrick Milling-Smith, Brian Carmody & Drew Santarsiero
Head of Production: Alex Hughes
Producer: Leah Allina
Associate Producers: Michelle Mehn 7 Mark Perez
Line Producer (New York Prep): Catalina Restrepo
Production Supervisor: Holland Kemp
Assistant Production Supervisor: Carly Rehm
1st AD: Anthony Dimino
Director of Photographer: David Devlin
Production Designer: Alex Fagin
Wardrobe Stylists: Young-Ah Kim & Jessica Bonanza
Casting Directors: Leah Allina and Lev Abramoff

BBDO New York & Sandy Hook Promise’s: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream becomes a heart-breaker

Editorial, Conform & Finish Company: MackCut
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
Editor: Ian MacKenzie
Assistant Editor: Cooper McLane
Lead Flame Artist: Jimmy Hayhow
Interview Editors: Franklin Ponce & Mike Leuis

Telecine Company: Color Collective
Telecine Artist: Alex Bickel
Executive Producer: Claudia Guevara

Music Company & Audio Post: Human
Creative Lead & Chief Engineer: Sloan Alexander
Executive Producer: James Dean Wells
Arrangers: Thomas Kerry & Sloan Alexander
Song: Teenage Dream by Katy Perry

BBDO New York & Sandy Hook Promise’s: Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream becomes a heart-breaker



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