—This week, Craig Redmond looks at why Change the Ref tricked a former NRA president into giving a commencement speech to high schoolers who won’t graduate this year—
Channel your hate: Avenging the futile deaths of 3,044 innocent school kids.
Select your target: The gun lobbyists who have that blood on their hands and should be punished.
Set your trap: Invent a high school named after James Madison, the author of the Second Amendment, and list the faux school on the internet.
Pick your moment: A 2021 graduation ceremony for “Madison High.”
Choose your weapon: The lethal combination of arrogance and ignorance.
Shoot: Viciously assassinate the character of a past NRA president with the same methodical ruthlessness that mass murderers have channeled to terrorize 256,000 kids at 278 US schools since Columbine in 1999.
The carnage: Gun safety advocacy group Change the Ref (ChangeTheRef.org), which was created by the parents of a Parkland massacre victim, worked with Leo Burnett Chicago to turn their sights on the gun lobby with one of the most gut-wrenching stunts in memory.
They lured one of America’s most powerful advocates of the arcane Second Amendment, the abolishment of background checks and the fierce resistance to the curtailment of automatic assault rifles.
The organizers then convinced their stunt victim that he was at a rehearsal of his commencement speech that he would be giving to thousands of graduating Madison High School students.
As expected, the NRA’s mouthpiece, David Keene, used the opportunity to spew more vitriol, lies and ignorance.
So, with cinematic weapons drawn, his creative assassins filmed the entire spectacle, tragically staged with thousands of empty white chairs perfectly aligned like the crosses of Arlington Cemetery and accompanied the elaborate ruse with the haunting sounds of 911 calls from actual school shootings.
And then they shared their epic expose for mass consumption on major U.S. news networks, including CNN.
Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.