Ads that make us go hmm: Rewind the Future

August 20, 2014

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It’s not that often that a PSA can create as much buzz as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life campaign has.1 After viewing, we’re sure you’ll agree that the video creative delivers an impact like no other. The emotional PSA tugs at your heart strings, using a flashback viewpoint to show the unhealthy lifestyle choices and influences that led the main character Jim to a pivotal moment on the operating table. The shocking first-person camera angle creates the illusion that the viewer is actually the young man growing up on fast food and snacks, from the drive through to the couch playing video games.

Interestingly enough, this ad was originally launched in 2012, but it’s most recent impact happened thanks to the power of Reddit, Facebook and BuzzFeed, to name a few social sites. Upon this years’ re-sharing of the video, it immediately went viral and stirred up controversy on a national scale with thousands of comments pouring in and gaining over 3 million YouTube views to date.2 The PSA has been successful in drawing up meaningful dialogue around the obesity epidemic in the form of self-reflection or personal experiences, as shown by the second life of this content, keeping viewer comments and debate going, years after it was originally produced. We hope that this spot continues to help battle the epidemic through conversation, and we applaud its ability to bring a difficult topic to the table.