While entertainment figures like Martin Sheen and Barbra Streisand have lent their names to support to midterm campaigns, there also has been a showbiz focus on specific issues, like gun violence.
The latest are two spots directed by Mark Pellington, whose credits include “Arlington Road” and “Mothman Prophecies,” for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The 60-second PSAs seek to make voters mindful of supporting candidates who will try to curb gun violence.
Both spots depict potential voters listening or reading about news of shooting rampages, including those at Virginia Tech and Aurora, Colo. Blood drips from their hands as they take in the news.
In both of the spots, a narrator says, “You did not buy the guns. You did not load the bullets. You did not empty the chamber. But you voted. You voted for politicians that refuse to support common-sense gun laws. Vote only for candidates who will fight to reduce gun violence. The solution is in our hands.”
The spots represent the latest effort to raise the profile of the issue of gun violence. Earlier this month, writer-director Adam McKay and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence unveiled a new video and website that identifies members of Congress who have taken campaign money from the gun industry, while voting against gun violence legislation. “Is your member of Congress a lapdog for the corporate gun lobby?” the site asks.
On the opposite side of the issue is the National Rifle Assn., which last summer unveiled a spot as part of its “Trigger the Vote” registration campaign featuring Chuck Norris. The humorous spot features his top 10 reasons to register to vote, including “Because I said so.”
The spots for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence were created by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in partnership with Wondros. In a statement, Pellington said that he wanted to make spots that “shake me, make me uncomfortable and accountable for my choices and actions; pieces that brought back the horror as we culturally become insulated to every new act of gun violence.”
One of the new Coalition to Stop Gun Violence spots is below.