They say a photo is worth a thousand words. So consider what message an advertisement for a line of bulletproof vests for young kids is sending.
The controversial billboard advertising that popped up in Tallahassee, FL, is part of the “Vest or Vote” campaign created by The Dream Defenders.
The social justice organization is trying hard to get out to vote in Florida’s midterm election, even if they have to shock them to do so. According to a report on Jacksonville’s CBS 47 Action News, the Dream Defenders want to elect candidates who will repeal the state’s controversial stand your ground law.
The BRPR Group, the Miami-based advertising agency behind the campaign, said the billboard was inspired by youth clothing ads such as those for H&M or Gap.
The featured website even initially seems to be an online retailer selling the child-sized, bulletproof “Dream Vest.” But after waiting or by clicking on the page, visitors to the website are redirected to a brief public service announcement. “The video features a woman bundling up her son in the bulletproof vest the same way many mothers adjust their children’s coats and hats. The PSA ends with the audio from several news reports covering the deaths of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, Calif.; Michael Brown in the continuing case of Ferguson, Mo.; and Florida’s own Trayvon Martin,” reports AdWeek.
Ads for the vest appear on Twitter and Facebook as well.
“In November, Florida’s voters will be faced with the question first posed by Malcolm X, ‘the ballot or the bullet,’” Ciara Taylor, political director for Dream Defenders, said in a statement. “That dichotomy is what this election is ultimately about.”