Background: The Last Lockdown campaign was created to force people to confront the reality of gun violence against children in America. The ten sculptures launched in ten cities across the country. They speak to everyone, raising awareness of how pervasive the issue is and motivating viewers to elect leaders who will reform gun laws.
Reasoning: We were inspired to create this campaign after the Parkland tragedy. We wanted to capture the realism of the moment and represent students who have been lost to gun violence, as well as the children that fear they could be next. We didn’t want to create another “ad” that could be ignored. These 3-D sculptures are tactile—they force viewers to stop, look and interact with them.
Challenges: We began as a team of four working outside our full-time agency day jobs. The logistics were challenging. We served every agency function, from concepting the creative solution to pitching the client to managing vendors and production. That said, it was a passion project from the beginning and we’d do it all over again.
Favorite details: We created something that can stand as a galvanizing symbol of what students living in the “lockdown generation” are fighting against. We’re also proud of the realism. The frightened expression of the girl is both haunting and heartbreaking. And, each statue is life-sized. We digitally sculpted the girl to scale and 3-D printed her. Then, we used real school desks and books, assembling each statue with a bronze finish.
Visual influences: Change the Ref’s Manuel Oliver’s art as activism. He uses all types of media and art to spread his message and we were proud to collaborate with him. Also, companies are now 3-D printing guns with the same technology that we used to print the statue, adding a stark juxtaposition to the unregulated and untraceable guns that can be created.
Time constraints: The campaign launched right around back-to-school time in the U.S. and only a few weeks before the mid-term elections. The confluence of those events was important to keep this issue top of mind.
Specific demands: The budget. Giffords is a non-profit organization, so we did all of our work pro-bono. We sourced vendors who worked at cost or lower, and nearly everyone in the credits volunteered their time.
Anything new: We learned that even the drills can be traumatic and have a profound effect on children. Many adults have trouble understanding that experience, so it was critical to communicate that trauma. More importantly, we got to meet survivors and families of victims and learn their stories. Manuel Oliver lost his son Joaquin in Parkland, so interacting with Manuel and his family gave this project a unique purpose.