Evolve: If They Find It, They’ll Play With It [Possibly NSFW]

Evolve’s M.O. is promoting safe, responsible gun ownership while employing a more arch sensibility than, say, the NSSF’s Project Childsafe or the NRA’s Eddie Eagle programs. Not that there’s anything wrong with those more staid, traditional approaches. As Evolve’s Rebecca Bond says, there’s room in the safety advocacy universe for all kinds of strategies. Each one has the potential to reach a different constituency. You may remember their inaugural Don’t Be a Dumbass effort that garnered attention and some comment. This time out, Evolve’s coming at the topic of safe gun storage in a way that might appeal to people like Amanda Marcotte. Press release after the jump . . .

NEW YORK, NY – June 26, 2014 – Whose responsibility is it to keep inappropriate objects out of children’s hands? It’s the adult’s responsibility, says a new PSA campaign from maverick non-profit Evolve.

In the spot, two young mothers are discussing their sons’ play date when it goes seriously wrong and leaves them horrified. The scenario is a set-up for the tag line, “If they find it, they’ll play with it… so always lock up your guns.” The spot is being released to TV stations, broadcast and cable networks and online.

See the PSA here (Note: Don’t click if easily offended)

“Adults keep all kinds of things around the house they wouldn’t want kids playing with. We’re saying responsible adults store these things so kids can’t get their hands on them,” says Jon Bond, Co-founder of Evolve.

The tongue-in-cheek spot, titled ‘Playthings,’ is the latest message from Evolve, a non-profit dedicated to encouraging the responsible storage of firearms, and using humor to get the message across.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them accessible to the wrong hands – children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others.

“Our PSA is humorous, but the message is serious. Parents need to take ownership of safety in the house. If you don’t want kids to play with it, put it away – it’s up to you to keep your stuff locked up. We’re using humor to cut through political correctness and deliver a simple message. Americans can have a serious conversation about firearm safety that doesn’t devolve into a political abyss,” says Rebecca Bond, Co-founder of Evolve.

The spot was created pro-bono by McCann Erickson New York. “The idea is designed to make people laugh, and then think. Thoughtful conversations about gun safety are too rare, and we’re hoping a little humor will break through that impasse,” said Sean Bryan, Chief Creative Officer at McCann Erickson New York.

Rebecca Bond, Evolve co-founder, has worked for large Fortune 500 companies, international consultancy, agencies and start-ups with an expertise in marketing, branding, business development and strategy. She has an extensive background in sports and entertainment marketing, working for Miller Brewing, NASCAR brands and Cablevision Systems, among others.

Jon Bond, Evolve co-founder, co-founded Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, a New York City advertising agency that pioneered guerilla marketing techniques including sidewalk advertising, popup stores, and other forms of what would eventually come to be known as viral marketing. The firm became the largest independently held agency in the United States, with clients including BMW, Target, Citi, Capital One, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Verizon, AT&T, Snapple, and Delta Airlines, among others.

Evolve is a group of gun owners and non-gun owners who are only interested in one thing: firearms safety and reduction of violence through personal behaviors and education. We believe safety messaging should be cool and aspirational, and led by owners and industry. We are not taking on laws, we are taking on behavior. ‘Playthings’ is the second safety and responsibility message from Evolve.