Gun shoppers are shocked into abandoning their purchase at #GunsWithHistory fake store

Social video expert Be On reviews States United To Prevent Gun Violence's latest viral.

While the background props are extremely realistic, the way the customers act comes across as staged and takes away from the overall authenticity of the campaign. 7/10

National non-profit organisation, States United To Prevent Gun Violence, conducted a social experiment for its latest campaign.

Designed to get at the root of why 60% of Americans think owning a gun will make their lives safer, States United set up a fake gun store in NYC fitted with a hidden camera.

Each gun in the shop comes with an un-nerving label, detailing the violent history behind the weapon, including accidental mass shootings involving children.

These first time buyers are stunned when they come to realise the harsh reality of gun misuse and the camera is there to capture them in the moment.

Soft guitar chords underscore the depressing reality of the situation, creating an uneasy atmosphere from the beginning. After realising the potential danger of using a gun, all of the customers choose not to purchase a weapon, having had their opinions radically altered.

The campaign has achieved a strong presence on social media with the hashtag #GunsWithHistory, encouraging people to sign a petition to support background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons and a limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines.

The campaign also triggered conversation after the video went viral, coming under the scrutiny of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) who called for an investigation into the making of the video.

While the background props are extremely realistic, the way the customers act comes across as staged and takes away from the overall authenticity of the campaign.

However, with over 7000 views every hour and over 3.5m views to date, it is clear the campaign has struck a chord with its viewers, helping them understand that guns actually increase the risk of homicide, suicide and unintentional death.  

An imaginative way of raising awareness and a fine example of engaging users through creative story-telling.


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