This Ad About High School Romance Has A Sobering, Powerful Twist Ending That Everyone Needs To See — VIDEO

Most people love movies with a good, twisty ending (ahem, Fight Club), but I was surprised to find that one of the most shocking endings I’ve seen lately came not from a film, but a two-minute commercial. This ad about a high school romance has a twist ending that will shock and frighten you — for an important cause. It’s a vital reminder of how easy it can be to miss important signs of trouble, simply because you don’t know what to look out for.

Created by the ad agency BBDO New York, the ad, titled “Evan,” tells the seemingly sweet story of a high school boy on a quest. At the beginning of the PSA, Evan is hanging out in the library, bored out of his mind. He etches “I am bored” onto a table, only to find when he returns that someone has written back, “Hi Bored, nice to meet you.” For the rest of the ad, Evan continues to converse via table-graffiti with his mysterious pen pal. He wanders his school and browses social media, trying to figure out who has been responding to him. Finally, the semester winds down, school ends, and the library closes. How will he find his pen pal now?

This ad really deserves to be seen without spoilers, so I encourage you to go ahead and watch it in full before proceeding:

Sandy Hook Promise on YouTube

Terrifying, right?

BBDO New York created this ad for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a non-partisan nonprofit created by people who tragically lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 26 children and adults dead in December of 2012. According to SHP, many violent episodes like this have warning signs that go unreported; the organization claims that as many as 80 percent of school shooters and 70 percent of people who commit suicide tell someone about what they’re going to do in advance, and yet nothing is done to prevent their actions. SHP is seeking to change that through education.

“When you don’t know what to look for or can’t recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant,” Nicole Hockley, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sandy Hook Promise, explained in a press release. “That can lead to tragic consequences, including someone hurting themselves or others." Hockley, who lost her first grade son in the Sandy Hook massacre, continued, “It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence — these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”

SHP is working to prevent future violence in schools by providing no-cost educational programs, called “Know the Signs,” to schools and community groups. So far, SHP reports, it has trained 1.5 million students, school staff, and parents to recognize the signs that someone may be considering violent action. To find out more about SHP and its programs, visit the Sandy Hook Promise website.

Images: YouTube (2)