Media > Culture & Context




Gold Cannes Lions
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Supporting Content
Supporting Content
Case Film




Why is this work relevant for Media?

Gun safety is an old problem with new media channels in America. In the last years, the gun online content has increased year on year and now registers 6 billion channel views every year on YouTube alone and 31 million subscribers for the top 10 gun related content channels. The content is so wide spread that it’s almost impossible for social networks alone to be able to monitor all content. Gun Survivor Reviews used the media formats gun enthusiasts love the most and targeted the channels that are their go-to source when it comes to guns.


The online gun community registers billions of views and new followers every year. 97% of people are more likely to buy a product after watching an online review and that goes for guns too. In a country where 45000 people die every year from guns, there is a need for higher online gun safety standards and bigger accountability from the gun content creators. Guns Down America, an NGO focused on higher standards for gun ownership, wanted to take on this challenge and help raise awareness over this issue. Just like other potentially dangerous industries come with specific disclaimers and warnings – like warnings on cigarettes, or pharma, etc – the gun industry needs one too and consequentially so does gun online content. A small act like adding a warning before a video could potentially save lives.

Describe the creative idea / insights

To raise online gun content standards and help save lives, we created gun reviews by people who know a gun’s performance better than anyone: gun violence survivors. Each survivor reviewed the exact gun that almost took their life and talked about the technical details and performance capabilities, before revealing the story behind each review. The format used was exactly the same as any regular gun review, followed the same narrative structure, used technical details and language known to this community.

Describe the strategy

Gun safety standards have to start from within the gun community, through gun enthusiasts who stand by safety practices. But starting a conversation with and about the online gun community is not an easy task, especially when you’re an NGO that believes in the need for higher safety standards for gun ownership. So to do that, we hijacked the format used by gun enthusiasts – gun online reviews – and told the gripping stories of gun violence survivors by having them review the guns that almost took their lives. Posting the reviews in gun communities and engaging with them on social media, made our targeting to the gun content creators inevitable. By sharing our stories, even those who wouldn’t stand behind the campaign would only help spread the word around the need for greater accountability among gun content creators.

Describe the execution

“Gun Survivor Reviews” was a digital-first campaign designed specifically to live in places where consumers and the online gun community would be primed to listen and engage. Data was used to inform everything from type of gun reviewed, content placement for maximum impact, and even activation launch timing (leading up to a season when young people are primed to be outdoors and gun violence soars: Spring). Working together, PR and social were used to amplify our reviews and drive conversation in the online gun community.

List the results

• Owned Impressions: 234,159

• Owned Engagements: 14,069

• Owned Engagement Rate: 6.01%

• Earned Impressions: 111,824

• Earned Engagements: 1670

• Total impressions: 345,983

• Total Engagements: 15,739

• Average ER: 4.55%

Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work

There are over 6 billion channel views for firearms influencers on YouTube, the top 10 gun content creators only register 31 million subscribers. The social media networks community guidelines algorithms are not able to track and monitor all gun content to make sure it fits within community guidelines. With 97% of people being more likely to buy a product after watching an online review, gun ownership in America still having low safety standards and gun violence on the rise, year on year, there was a growing need to engage with the online gun enthusiast community and call for higher accountability on their end to make sure the content they post is safe.

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