Ogilvy: Powerful new spot asks to bring back lockdown

(liana Waitze Zuckerman)

For the first time in decades, the upward trend of school shootings in the U.S. declined in 2020, with March 2020 being the first March without a school shooting since 2002 – but sadly that’s only due to the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s shocking and tragic to think that it took a global pandemic to reduce America’s school violence epidemic.

Non-profit organization Change The Ref (CTR) is on a mission to maintain awareness about school shootings. It’s their hope that a new disruptive campaign –Bring Back Lockdown– will do just that by urging Americans to push their representatives to legislate stricter gun control measures. 

Gun-related violence in schools is a pervasive issue and has greatly increased in recent years. However, for the first time in decades, school shootings stats have decreased – only due to the COVID-19 lockdown. 

It’s shocking to think that it took a global pandemic to reduce America’s school violence epidemic, but it’s important for people to realize that one problem (COVID-19 pandemic) can’t be the only way to solve another problem (school shootings). Children should feel safe in their schools regardless of societal conditions. 

“Gun laws and regulations continue to fall short of securing the safety of our schools,” says Change the Ref founder Manuel Oliver. “The Bring Back Lockdown campaign is an important moment to push the gun control conversation back into the forefront and incite change. This campaign calls to action and acknowledges that there is a stark contrast in gun violence in schools since the onset of Covid-related lockdowns. It is my goal with this campaign to inspire Americans to push their reps to fight for stricter gun laws to be passed so that schools can be a safe place for our children.” 

As the world opens and people reemerge, school shooting survivors are making their voices heard – they demand action; they demand security. ‘Bring Back Lockdown’ leverages CTR’s use of urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic to spark the conversation from the ground up. 

The film, created and developed by Ogilvy, is a creative misdirection on Covid and the resulting lockdown. Its intention is to make people stop and think. Featuring Parkland student liana Waitze Zuckerman, ‘Bring Back Lockdown’ leverages the Covid lockdown as a metaphor intended to spark debate and encourage people to visit BringBackLockdown.com, where they can petition their local congressperson, pressuring them to act on gun reforms. 

“I want to go back to school,” says Iliana. “I want to see my friends and learn in person, but the reality is there are fewer school shootings with school online. That is just a fact.”  Watch below:

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“More guns have been purchased since the onset of COVID than ever before, which means there are more guns in homes, and therefore a higher likelihood of gun violence in schools when kids return,” Manuel added. “I hope this campaign will spark the change necessary for children to feel safe in school, and that no other parent has to endure the pain of losing their child to this unconscionable violence.” 

“A mother can sacrifice some personal time helping with homework, lunch, or simply having a nice conversation, says Patricia Oliver. “What a mother should never do is accept a society that sacrifices the lives of more than seventeen kids per day and shows no intention of fixing America’s gun violence crisis.” 


CLIENT: Change The Ref

Founder: Manuel Oliver

AGENCY: Ogilvy

  • CCO: Danilo Boer, Marcos Kotlhar
  • Creative Directors: Ricardo Franco, Angelo Maia
  • Copywriter: Gillian Goodman
  • Art Director: Grace Donahue
  • Digital Art Director/Website: Eric Lippincott
  • Global Head of Production: Dave Rolfe
  • Director of Content Production: Eric Soloway
  • Producer: Gabriella Pizzitola
  • Music Producer: Joanna Starling
  • Stock Footage Buyer: Daniella Nilva
  • Public Relations: Stef Schmit
  • Account Management: Peter Kush


  • DP: Jon Taylor Parker
  • Sound mixer: Tom Salyer
  • Producer: Sara Beamish
  • Producer: Jocelyn Savoie
  • Producer: Jenahye Johnson

EDIT: Work Editorial

  • Editor: Charlie Moreton
  • Assistant Editor: Griffin Ver Steeg
  • Head of Production, NY: Alejandra Alarcon
  • Executive Producer: Erica Thompson

MIX: Sonic Union

Co-founder & Audio Engineer: Steve Rosen

COLOR: Blacksmith

  • Colorist: Mikey Pehanich
  • Founding Partner: Charlotte Arnold
  • Producer: Ashley Goodwin

MUSIC: Beacon Street Studios

  • Music by: Beacon Street Studios
  • Composers: Andrew Feltenstein & John Nau
  • Executive Producer: Leslie DiLullo