With Veterans at Far Greater Risk of Gun Suicide, New National Campaign Promotes Safe Firearm Storage to Save Lives
NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterans make up roughly 7% of U.S. adults, but they account for 18% of the nation’s gun suicide deaths. Today, Brady and the Ad Council are launching new digital video public service advertisements (PSAs) for their End Family Fire campaign: ” Service Never Stops.” The series features real Veterans encouraging their fellow Veterans to store their firearms securely to protect themselves and their loved ones. Directed and produced by creative teams that included Veterans, the PSAs raise awareness about the risks of “family fire,” a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun in the home.
Veterans continue to use guns more than any other means of suicide. According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, 69% of Veteran suicides involve a gun, compared to 48% of suicides among the rest of the U.S. population. Storing firearms securely—locked, unloaded, and separately from their ammunition—can delay access to a highly lethal weapon in a moment of crisis.
“The suicide rate for Veterans is one and a half times the rate for non-Veteran adults,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “An estimated 17 Veterans die by suicide every day, and 12 by gun suicide. This is a crisis and one that requires immediate attention and evidence-based solutions. Our hope is that these PSAs will help to bring awareness to the need for safe storage to reduce the risk of suicide by gun by placing time and space between a Veteran thinking of suicide and an accessible, usable firearm. Our Veterans have already served our country and we cannot abandon them as they undergo this fight here back at home.”
“Veterans are deeply committed to serving others, and that service can continue by protecting themselves and their families from the preventable tragedy of family fire,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer, the Ad Council. “Through our partnership with Facebook Creative Shop and Gig Line Media, we’re honored to work with Veterans in front of and behind the camera to share this lifesaving message of safe gun storage.”
Facebook Creative Shop, Facebook’s in-house creative strategy team, worked pro bono to develop the “Service Never Stops” creative concept and a suite of graphics and videos optimized for Facebook and Instagram ad formats. The PSAs will appear in media donated by Facebook beginning this week.
The Ad Council and Veteran-owned creative shop Gig Line Media (the production arm of We Are The Mighty) are also extending the campaign with additional work for broadcast, radio, out-of-home, and digital formats. These PSAs will appear in donated time and space nationwide beginning in October, driving to EndFamilyFire.org for more information about how to store guns safely.
“We are military Veterans ourselves, and it’s so important we get this work done authentic and right,” said Air Force Veteran and Gig Line Media CEO, Mark Harper. “We pour ourselves into the production and think of the storytelling from the perspective of being a Veteran to make sure it resonates with our military Veteran community.”
The “Service Never Stops” PSAs extend the End Family Fire campaign which initially launched in August 2018. 32% of gun owners who are aware of the campaign report having sought information about safe gun storage in the past year, compared to just 6% of those who are not aware. (Data source: Ad Council online survey of 1824 U.S. adults who reside in gun-owning households, fielded by Ipsos March 1, 2021-June 30 2021.)
About End Family Fire
End Family Fire, a joint effort from Brady and the Ad Council, aims to encourage safe gun storage by putting a name to the preventable tragedies that occur when guns in the home are misused. “Family fire,” a term developed for the campaign, refers to a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home that results in death or injury. Incidents of family fire include suicides, unintentional shootings, and other gun-related tragedies.
The campaign aims to bring awareness to the issue of family fire, give gun owners a role in gun violence prevention, and encourage a national dialogue around safe storage practices—all of which can help prevent tragedies of family fire.
Brady has one powerful mission—to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in the common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic of gun violence ends. It’s in our hands.
About the Ad Council
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.
The Ad Council’s innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.
About Gig Line Media
Gig Line Media production and marketing services are informed by authentic, apolitical, inspirational content about service that we create for all platforms: digital, film, and TV. We work with amazing brands and employ incredibly talented Veterans. For more on the talented Veterans of Gig Line Media production visit www.giglinemedia.com.
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SOURCE The Ad Council