Cannes Lions

Sleeping Girl

BBDO NEW YORK, New York / RED CROSS / 2018

Presentation Image
Presentation Image
Case Film






We created a Facebook film that gives one story two different endings, using Facebook video’s muting function. We told the story of a young girl sleeping soundly in her bed as smoke fills her room. When the film is played without sound, subtitles appear to tell a tragic ending to her story. By turning the sound on, we hear the sound of a smoke alarm that wakes her before it's too late.


The American Red Cross has installed over one million smoke alarms across America. To help them continue their life-saving efforts and get donations, we wanted to highlight how sound can save a life in a home fire. With a small budget, we created a film specifically for Facebook, using the native muting function to show that in a home fire, the sound of a smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death. We gave one story two different endings: one with sound and one without. With one day to shoot, our biggest challenge was to create lifelike smoke. So we created the illusion of a room, boxing in our set with thick black curtains. We had to use non-toxic water vapor to create smoke. Through multiple tries, we were able to manipulate it on-set to look, feel and move like real-life fire smoke.


With 3 million media impressions, we were able contribute to the million plus smoke alarms installed by the American Red Cross throughout the US, and the 416 lives saved to date by the Sound The Alarm initiative.

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